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Patient Review Highlights
Back pain is a common source of pain, which can be acute, subacute or chronic in nature. Back pain is classified along the segments of the spine and can be divided into neck pain, middle back pain, lower-back pain or tailbone pain.
Lower back pain is a type of back pain, which affects the lower back portion of the body. It may occur from arthritis or due to sudden jerking during movement. Lower-back pain may cause serious discomfort and aching and may disable a person from moving about. It should be treated and cared for properly.
Here are several treatments and care procedures for lower-back pain:
- Take some rest: Most people who get lower-back pain get obsessed with it and end up getting MRI scans, x-rays done and take injections without recognizing the intensity of the pain. It is advised not to rush into the matter. A simple way to cure the pain is by resting. 90% of lower back pains resolve by themselves in 6 weeks and so you must give your back a break instead of taking medical action and give your back some to heal.
- Pills: Sometimes, a lower back pain can suddenly become severe. In this case, you should intake anti-inflammatory pills such as ibuprofen or naproxen. These pills will help you ease the pain. However, you should not take them for more than ten days at a stretch as continuous pill consumption can cause side effects.
- Hot & cold compress: Apply a bag of frozen peas or an ice pack to the affected area in your lower back for 48 hours after the pain appears. Every session should be about of 20 minutes and you should take several sessions each day. After two days, repeat the same procedure using a heat pad. The cooling procedure shuts down your blood capillaries, reducing the flow of blood to the affected area. The swelling is then eased. The heating, on the other hand, loosens tight muscles and helps to increase blood circulation.
- Replace your mattress: People who sleep on firm mattresses and cushions on their beds are at a higher risk of experiencing lower-back pain. If you sleep on a medium-firm mattress, your chances of getting lower-back pain are less. In case your mattress is sagging or is very old, you should replace it.
- Acupuncture: When your lower-back pain is very severe, you can take acupuncture injections, which provide efficient pain relief. The injections change the way your nerves react and inflammation gets reduced.
Lower-back pain is likely to cause great discomfort and trouble. You will be unable to carry out your daily chores because of the pain. Therefore, proper treatment and care are required for lower-back pain. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an orthopedist and ask a free question.
To soothe stiff and painful joints in your hands, apply mineral oil to your hands, put on rubber dish washing gloves, and place your hands in hot tap water for 5 to 10 minutes.
Elbow pain may be caused due to a variety of reasons from injuries to fractures and ligament pulls or tears. This is most commonly experienced by people who are into sports, including those who play tennis, golf and other such sports that require intense arm movements.
So, let us look at the six most common reasons behind elbow pain:
- Medial Epicondylitis: This condition creates pain in the inner tendon within the elbow and is usually termed as 'golfer's elbow'. It basically occurs due to the constant swinging and throwing motion that a sports person may indulge in. When these movements are repeated on a constant basis, there is wear and tear as well as acute pain in the area. Also, an injury to the wrist can cause this pain in the elbow.
- Lateral Epicondylitis: This condition is commonly known as 'tennis elbow'. The affected area under this condition includes the outside tendons of the elbow. This is caused due to swinging, hitting, hammering and punching motions that are repeated too often. It is commonly experienced by cooks, artists, carpenters, automobile workers, and plumbers and people who use heavy tools.
- Olecranon Bursitis: This condition is also known as 'student's elbow' and usually occurs due to constant writing and gripping motion which affects the bursae. These are small fluid filled sacs that lubricate the joints even as the protection happens. The symptoms include swelling and pain. There is also risk of infection and redness in this condition.
- Osteoarthritis: The cartilage of the joints gets affected in this condition which is the connective tissue that exists in the joints. This condition causes wear and tear of the joints and bones which leads to pain in the various areas including the elbow. Medication and physiotherapy are good measures for treatment.
- Fracture: Sometimes, dislocation or fracture may lead to pain in the outstretched arm or elbow. Dislocation may take place when a bone moves from its aligned spot. The symptoms will include obvious swelling and acute pain in the elbow.
- Ligament Damage: Strains and sprains in the ligaments within the elbow joint can lead to this damaging condition. Torn or stretched ligaments are the most common outcomes in this kind of injury and damage.
To find out which reason may be the culprit behind your elbow pain, you will need to see a general physician or an orthopaedic specialist who will run you through a series of tests and examinations including X rays, MRI scans and others in order to ascertain the cause and treatment. A sports injury specialist can also help in diagnosis and treatment.
The most common cause of neck pain can be cervical disc disease. It is generally caused by the abnormality of the disc that is the cushion present between the vertebrae. The disc can get damaged because of arthritis or any unknown cause. When damaged, it usually leads to inflammation or spasm of the muscles leading to neck pain.
There are a number of pain medications, traction exercises, and physical therapy for minimizing the neck pain. However, these home based remedies help in relieving pain along with a speedy recovery:
- Take it easy: If you have a busy and hectic life, then take it easy. Living with cervical disc diseases can lead to an increase in the neck pain; thus cutting down on activities helps. A comfortable position should be observed while resting. If need be then a pillow can be placed under the neck.
- Apply Cold/Heat Pack: There is always a confusion regarding whether a cold or a hot pack is to be used. The recommendation is to use ice or cold pack for the first 24 to 48 hours of the injury, so that the swelling subsides. This should then be followed by hot fermentation in order to improve the muscle stiffness and also loosen them. But in case of a cervical disc disease neither cold nor heat penetrates the tissue to relieve inflammation, so it is best to use the one which feels better. Whichever, pack is chosen it should only be used for 20 minutes and then left for 40 minutes. Take care and do not use ice or heat directly against the skin.
- Stretch: Stretching exercises should be done in order to improve the flexibility and relieve pain in the neck. Exercises can be performed after warming up of the muscles by a warm towel or bath. Here are a few simple stretches for cervical disc disease that you can do at home:
- Move the neck: As per the study by the American Medical Association, women who had neck pain got relief when they did exercises using light weight and resistance bands. This increased their endurance and strength of the neck muscles. Also, 30 minutes of exercise in the form of biking, walking, swimming, and biking is recommended to improve the blood flow.
- Maintain the posture of the neck: A bad posture can cause a neck pain. Every time while standing, sitting, walking, lifting the posture should be kept in mind. The head and neck should be kept straight and the back should be supported in order to avoid neck pains.
My mom suffering from osteoarthritis what can I do for him and what precautions did she take and what diet she should follow?
Is osteoarthritis a part of aging, and is there a way to reduce risks, even after age 50? Do sleep needs change as we age? How much sleep do we need after age 50? Please help me and I want to good suggestion please.
I am sixtyfive years old having blood pressure and suffering from knee pain due to osteoarthritis. I will like to take homeopathy treatment only. Please advise. R S Wadhwa.
The thought of going under the knife to treat your spine problem may give rise to a range of emotions; make you ponder over a number of things such as the recovery period, procedure and techniques involved and so on. Nonetheless, before opting for the surgery, there are certain points that you should go over and these are:
- Be well aware of the cause of your pain - Identifying the cause that is behind your pain is vital in order to decide whether the surgery is going to prove beneficial in the long run or not. If the cause is not identified as the right one, the surgery may prove futile and you may not get the pain relief that you're looking for.
- Gather detailed information about your spine surgeon - Before visiting the spine surgeon, you should collect detailed information about the specialist so as to be able to come up with appropriate questions concerning the surgery. From questions concerning about the surgeon's success and complication rates, numbers of surgeries performed to qualifications of the surgeon, these and much more should be part of your evaluation process.
- Prepare yourself before a consultation - It's good to prepare yourself before a medical consultation. Whether it's researching about the surgery and your condition or being well aware of your family's medical history, or details about the pain that you experience, or your expectations from the surgery, every aspect should be covered so that you derive the maximum benefit from your meeting.
- Carry out your own research - Carrying out your own research on the alternatives before opting for the surgery can put you on a better footing. It's imperative to compare the opinion put forward by the surgeon from genuine sources so that you're better able to understand the merits and demerits of the treatment.