The Pain Management Series is a free publication of the Myoflex® Pain Management Centre.
This series is written for people who suffer from conditions such as:
- Backache and neck ache.
- Muscle or joint pain resulting from injury.
Accidents, injuries and other forms of trauma account for only about 30% of backaches and neck aches. The other 70% occur as we age and our backs are subjected to routine daily activities.
Backaches affect men and women about equally, but women are more likely to suffer from back pain after the age of 60.
People who are overweight or very tall are more prone to back problems because of the additional stress and strain placed on their backs. Pregnant women and new mothers are also very prone to backache.
Coping with backache
The purpose of this section is to help you cope with backache. It offers simple tips to help you protect your back while participating in various activities around the house and at work. Inside this section you will find information about:
- How the back works.
- Causes of backaches.
- Risk factors.
- Lifestyle tips to prevent backache.
- Lifting and carrying.
- Reaching and bending.
- Planning your work area.
- Backaches, babies and new mothers.
The spine, or backbone, has three very important roles to play:
- The spine holds us upright and is the primary support structure of our bodies.
- The spine protects the vital nerves and vessels that run down our backs.
- The spine acts as a shock absorber protecting our upper body and head from impact.
Although the human spine is an amazingly strong, durable structure, years of wear and tear can lead to problems which can cause backaches.
Causes of backache
Over 95% of backaches are caused by mechanical problems, not a disease. Accidents, injuries and other forms of trauma account for only about 30% of mechanical backaches and neck aches. The other 70% occur as we age and our backs are subjected to routine daily activities.
A “Mechanical” back pain will typically have three characteristics:
- The pain is aggravated by some movements and temporarily relieved by others.
- The pain may increase while staying in a certain position and decrease with a change in position.
- The pain is intermittent.
Recent studies have shown that patients with low back pain recover more quickly if they return immediately to ordinary activity within limits permitted by the pain.