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Overview

Stomach Pain: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

What is the treatment?

Pain in the abdomen can be caused due to a variety of reasons and should not be taken lightly. The reasons behind the pain can vary from food poisoning, menstrual cramps, an infection, a growth in the abdomen, extreme acidity, or any gastrointestinal disorders. This is why the range of treatment for abdominal pain also varies just as much. The most effective course of treatment depends on the causes of the pain.

One of the most common treatment courses for any type of pain is pain killers. If your pain is caused by menstruation, or any muscular cramps, getting some over the counter pain relievers can help treat the pain in no time. However, if the pain is caused due to a medical condition, then it is likely to occur again and again even after you take the pain medications. This is because the condition has to be treated in order for the pain to disappear.

Whether you are suffering from an infection that is caused by a virus, bacteria, or fungi, antibiotics are the right course of treatment for the pain. They help clear up the infection and thus also treat the pain. If you have any growths in your abdomen, your doctor will prescribe medications to help shrink the growth, or will advise you to undergo surgery in order to have the whole thing removed. The treatment plan in this case depends on how large the growth is, where it is located, and whether or not it is cancerous.

How is the treatment done?

When you first start experiencing pain, visiting a general physician is the right way to go about treating it as they can let you know whether the pain is referral or caused by an underlying condition. Based on the diagnosis, you may have to then visit a gastroenterologist, an oncologist, a physician that specializes in pain management, or get the treatment from the general physician. A physical exam, X-rays, blood tests, and MRI scans are some of the ways that the diagnosis can occur. If you have a growth in your abdomen, you may also have to get a biopsy done to rule out cancer.

If the pain in your abdomen is caused due to an infection, the general physician can prescribe you a few antibiotics. The dosage will depend on the severity of the infection and your medical history. Taking the pills as instructed will help clear out the infection within a matter of days.

If the pain in the abdomen is caused by a growth, there are two types of treatment plans that the doctor may resort to. The first will be to prescribe you medications to help shrink the growth. Depending on the size and type of growth, these can either be taken orally or through an IV. They may even be injected straight into the growth. The second type of treatment plan involves surgery. Here, the surgeon will make an incision in the area where the growth is and remove the entire mass in one go (if feasible). If the mass is too large or is causing complications, it may have to be removed in different surgeries. Once the mass is removed, the cavity left behind will be assessed for damage, healed, and then closed.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

If you have been experiencing abdominal pain continuously over a period of days, and taking over the counter pain medications just don’t help you or only provide temporary relief, you should see a doctor to seek out treatment.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

If your pain is temporary and directly related to your diet or menstrual cycle, you do not need to seek out additional treatment for the pain.

Are there any side effects?

Taking antibiotics sometimes results in an increase in the body temperature and the development of a fever. Surgery comes with its own set of side effects such as bruising, swelling, and pain in the area where the surgery is performed.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

Since this is a problem related to your digestive system, it makes sense to control your diet and eat substances that do not inflame the lining of your stomach.

How long does it take to recover?

Infections normally clear up within a week, though the course of treatment may be longer than that. It takes a minimum of 2 weeks or more to completely recover from the effects of surgery.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

Getting a growth removed from your abdomen can range in price from Rs. 50,000 to Rs .1,50,000, depending on the hospital you go to.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

The results of the treatment are permanent.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

Stomach pain that is caused by menstrual cramps can be treated at home and you do not necessarily need to resort to medication. For mild to moderate cramps, you can use a hot water bottle and place it on your abdomen to soothe the muscles beneath. This can be quite effective. Chewing ginger is also known to ease menstrual cramps. You can also consume tea prepared with honey, turmeric, and ginger to soothe the pain that you are feeling. Keeping your diet light and enjoying a warm bath and can also help you with the pain you are experiencing. There are also a few herbal remedies that can help you. Burning different types of essential oils such as clary sage oil, lavender oil, and rosemary oil can help you as these oils have the properties of an emmenogogue, which means they not only stimulate menstruation but also help with the symptoms of PMS and menstrual cramps. Stomach pain caused by acidity can be resolved at home by eating non-acidic foods and indulging in a soft diet until the diarrhoea is resolved.

Safety: High Effectiveness: High Timeliness: Medium Relative Risk: Low Side Effects: Low Time For Recovery: Medium Price Range:

Rs. 50,000 to Rs.1,50,000

Popular Health Tips

Chronic Inflammatory Disorder - Know The Common Types Of It!

MS - General Surgery, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, FAIS, Fellowship In Minimal Access Surgery
General Surgeon, Mumbai
Chronic Inflammatory Disorder - Know The Common Types Of It!

Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory disorder of GI or digestive tract. Crohn’s disease is most commonly affects the mucosal lining due to ulcerations of small and large intestines, but it can affect the entire digestive system. Crohn’s disease is usually related to another chronic inflammatory condition namely ulcerative colitis, which involves mainly colon. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are together referred to as inflammatory bowel disease. The symptoms include vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, fever, weight loss, anal fistulae, and perirectal abscesses. But, the symptoms are mostly dependent on the location, extent,and severity of the inflammation.

Subtypes of Crohn’s disease are:

  • Crohn’s colitis – Inflammation of the colon. The common symptoms are abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea. However, anal fistulae and perirectal abscesses can also occur.
  • Crohn’s enteritis – Inflammation of small intestines. Mainly jejunum (second part) or ileum (third part). The common symptoms are abdominal pain and diarrhea. In this obstruction of small intestines can also occur.
  • Crohn’s terminal ileitis – Inflammation of the part of the small intestine which is closest to the colon, i.e. ileum (third or terminal part of small intestine). Similar to colitis and enteritis, the common symptoms are abdominal pain and diarrhea.
  • Crohn’s entero-colitis and ileocolitis – Inflammation involving both small intestine and colon. The symptoms include abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea. Obstruction of the small intestine can also occur.

Causes of Crohn’s Disease
The cause of the disease is still not known. However, the researchers report that it is due to the abnormal response of the immune system. The uncontrolled inflammation which is associated with Crohn’s disease may be caused by food or bacterial intestines or due to the lining of the bowel.

Diagnosis
There are various diagnostic procedures and laboratory tests by which Crohn’s disease can be distinguished from other GI tract disease such as ulcerative colitis. A gastroenterologist can perform a sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy to get bowel tissue for analysis or upper endoscopy can be done to study esophagus, stomach,and duodenum (first part of small intestine). To study in detail of small intestine, capsule endoscopy can be done, which is done by using a small, pill-sized camera which is swallowed. Other tests that can be suggested by your doctor are:

  • Blood tests can be done. High white blood cell indicates inflammation and low red blood cells indicates a sign of anemia due to blood loss.
  • Stool examination can be done to rule out any infection that can occur due to diarrhea.
  • Special x-rays, namely CT scan or MRI can be performed of both upper and lower GI tract in order to confirm the location of the inflammation.

Treatment
Although there is no cure for Crohn’s disease, however, one can lead normal lives. Crohn’s disease is normally treated with medications. These include:

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs, namely, salicylates. Side effects of these drugs are gastrointestinal upset, nausea, rash, headache, or diarrhea.
  • Corticosteroids, again type of anti-inflammatory drugs, but this is more powerful. The side effects are seen if these drugs are consumed for long periods of time, mainly, thinning of bone, muscle loss, skin problems, and increased risk of infections.
  • Antibiotics can be given such as ciprofloxacin, metronidazole,and others. The side effects include nausea, tingling or numbness of feet and hands.
  • Antidiarrheal drugs

Risks
Along with Crohn’s disease, you are likely to develop other health problems such as colon cancer, lymphoma, deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism, or psoriatic arthritis.
Thus, with this information, you can with the help of your doctor can work out your plan to avoid problems and possible complications. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
 

Different Gastrointestinal Problems In Women

DM - Gastroenterology, MD - Internal Medicine, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery
Gastroenterologist, Noida
Different Gastrointestinal Problems In Women

The gastrointestinal system starts from the oral cavity and ends at the anus where undigested food is eliminated from the body. The esophagus, small intestine, large intestine and rectum along with organs like salivary glands, pancreas, liver and the gall bladder are all part of the gastrointestinal system. The gastrointestinal problems affect women differently than men. The symptoms which are observed in women are different than the symptoms observed in men. Some of the major areas where the women’s gastrointestinal system works differently than men’s are in the stomach, esophagus, colon and other areas.

Stomach
The process of emptying food from the stomach seems to be slower in women than in men which can be the reason why women experience nausea and bloating more than men. Another problem which affects women more than men is gastritis which causes inflammation of the stomach. Patients often take aspirin-like compounds as a quick solution for reducing the inflammation; however, this may lead to irritation in the stomach lining which can eventually lead to ulcers. Consulting a doctor is therefore advised before taking any step.

Esophagus
Esophagus is another organ which works differently for men and women. For women, especially premenopausal women, the muscle squeezes shut strenuously to make sure that the stomach juices and food stay in the stomach. Women tend to have heartburn more often than men; however, women are less likely to damage their esophagus in comparison to men.

Gallbladder Issues in Women
The process of emptying from the gallbladder is also slower in women than in men. Men are less likely to develop gallstones than women. The problem of developing gallstones is often heightened for women who are pregnant. This is usually the reason why more women develop gallstones after pregnancy. There are a number of symptoms which indicate a gallbladder disease. Any pain in the upper abdominal after eating or nausea and vomiting can indicate the risk of gallbladder diseases.

Liver and Small Intestine Issues
For the liver and small intestine, women secrete different enzymes than men. Enzymes from the liver and small intestines help in breaking down any medications they take, in the body. Since the enzymes work differently for both men and women, women handle the medications differently which either has little or too much effect on them. So patients must consult their doctors before starting any medication.

11 people found this helpful

5 Common Stomach Disorders!

DM - Gastroenterology, MD - General Medicine, DNB (Medical), MBBS
Gastroenterologist, Delhi
5 Common Stomach Disorders!

A healthy digestive system is a boon for any person, but very few people in the world have immaculate digestion. Disorders related to digestion can create serious issues, which may, in the future, lead to severe and chronic diseases. Here is a look at some of the most common stomach disorders that may plague you or someone you know.

  1. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD): Many a time you may have heard people complaining about acidity. This acidity is the primary symptom of GERD. People suffering from the same can experience pain and a burning sensation in the center of their chests. This usually occurs after you have just finished off a meal. Ingesting spicy food may also lead to the condition. However, it is important to remember that not all acid reflux cases are indicative of GERD. If the frequency of such acid reflux increases, it could be a pointer for GERD.
  2. Gallstones: Gallstones are small and hard crystalline deposits that are formed in the gallbladder. The main cause of gallstone is excess cholesterol and deposition of bile in the bladder, in case the gallbladder does not empty completely. Gallstones can cause sharp pain and need to be removed using laser surgery. Smaller stones may be passed out naturally with feces, by the help of medication, without the need for surgeries.
  3. Celiac disease: Celiac disease is a disorder where the body’s immune system reacts violently towards gluten. Gluten is a form of protein, which is often found in bread and any product containing refined flour. People suffering from celiac disease may need to be admitted to the hospital due to an allergic reaction to gluten. There is no permanent treatment for this disorder and people, who suffer from this disease, need to stay away from gluten forever.
  4. Irritable bowel syndrome: As the name suggests, irritation in the digestive tract may be a sign of IBS. In such a case, you will feel terrible pain and discomfort. Other symptoms include constipation in some cases, while diarrhea may also be caused as a result of the disorder. If you are suffering from the disease, ensure that you stay away from dairy products, artificial sweeteners, alcohol and caffeine.
  5. Ulcerative Colitis: The large intestine is affected in this condition It is caused when your immune system mistakes food for foreign particles and rejects it. If you experience pain and diarrhea or notice blood in your stool, it could be indicative of ulcerative colitis.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2723 people found this helpful

Gastrointestinal Cancer - Signs & Symptoms You Must Know!

MS - General Surgery, MBBS
General Surgeon, Varanasi
Gastrointestinal Cancer - Signs & Symptoms You Must Know!

Gastrointestinal cancer is the most common form of cancer. It is a term used for a group of cancers that affect the digestive system. This includes cancers of the esophagus, gallbladder, liver, pancreas, stomach, small intestine, bowel, and anus. The symptoms relate to the organ affected and can include obstruction, abnormal bleeding, or other associated problems.

Signs and symptoms of gastrointestinal cancer: Typically, there are no early signs or symptoms of gastrointestinal cancer. Unfortunately, this means that people often don’t know anything is wrong until cancer has reached an advanced stage. Some of the most common symptoms of advanced gastrointestinal cancer are nausea and vomiting, frequent heartburn, loss of appetite, constant bloating, bloody stools, excessive fatigue, and stomach pain which may be worse after meals.

Causes of gastrointestinal cancer: Scientists don’t know exactly what makes the cancer cells grow in the gastrointestinal tract. But they know a few things that can raise your risk for the disease. One of them is infection with common bacteria. Other things that seem to play a role in raising the risk include smoking, being overweight or obese, a diet high in smoked, pickled, or salty foods, stomach surgery for an ulcer, virus infection, certain genes, working in coal, metal, timber, or rubber industries.

Diagnosis of gastrointestinal cancer: Since people with gastrointestinal cancer rarely show symptoms in the early stages, the disease is often not diagnosed until it has advanced. To make a diagnosis, a physical exam is conducted by the healthcare provider to check for any abnormalities. More diagnostic tests are done if the healthcare provider believes that a person is showing signs of gastrointestinal cancer. These tests may include an endoscopy, a biopsy or imaging tests such as CT scans and X-rays.

Treating gastrointestinal cancer: Many treatments can fight gastrointestinal cancer. Traditionally, it is treated with chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, or immunotherapy such as vaccines and medications. Treatment depends on several factors, including the severity of cancer and the individual’s overall health and preferences. Apart from treating cancer cells, the goal of treatment is to prevent the cells from spreading. Gastrointestinal cancer, when left untreated, may spread to the lungs, lymph nodes, bones, and liver.

Prevention of gastrointestinal cancer: Experts do not know exactly what causes gastrointestinal cancer, and there are no vaccines against it. Therefore, there is no way to prevent it. But one can take steps to reduce the risk of gastrointestinal cancer by making small changes to their everyday life. For instance, regular exercise is associated with a reduced risk of cancer. On the other hand, smoking not only increases the risk of gastrointestinal cancer but many other types of cancers. Reducing the amount of salty and smoked foods and including more fruits and vegetables in the everyday diet are small steps that one can take as preventive actions. In some cases, doctors may even prescribe medications that can help lower the risk of cancer. This is usually done for people who have other diseases that may contribute to cancer.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2743 people found this helpful

Workout During Menses - Should You Do It?

MBBS, MD - Obstetrtics & Gynaecology
Gynaecologist, Gurgaon
Workout During Menses - Should You Do It?

Should you be hitting your gym during your ‘time of the month’ that is during your periods? This is a very common query and is presently a debatable issue. However, after weighing the various pros and cons, it has been concluded that working out during your periods is actually a good thing.

How work out during menses is helpful?

Exercising helps in beating the uncomfortable and painful cramps in the lower abdomen and helps in relieving fatigue, headaches and malaise. Exercising also helps in regulating blood flow, preventing clots. Working out also helps in sweating out the excess water retention or bloating that occurs during the premenstrual period. It keeps unnecessary weight gain in check. Exercise also helps in the steady flow of feel good hormones, scientifically termed as endorphins. This helps in improving mood, significantly making menstruating women happier and feeling positive.

It's a myth

  • In fact, there may be benefits to exercising on your period, including reduced cramps and higher pain tolerance. Additionally, the hormonal changes don’t impact your strength or endurance. So although you may feel tired, heading to the gym might make you feel better. Plus, we all know that exercise releases endorphins that cause happiness, so you’ll probably feel a bit cheerier after your workout as well.
  • If you feel really ill or have extreme cramps, don’t force yourself to exercise. Sometimes when your body is asking for rest, it’s because all it really needs to recover is a bit of rest.
  • If you’re still not sure about working out, try doing some low-impact exercise for the days you’re on your cycle, and switch back to heavier work when you’re off.

Use the right protection:
Generally, one of the biggest concerns for working out while during period is "what if I leak?" Although you will be moving your body in ways that might cause more of a flow, you can use the right tools to keep your menstrual cycle out of view. Opt for using a menstrual cup or a tampon rather than pads or panty liners; these options will trap the blood before it leaves your body, making it less likely to leak. If you’re still concerned, double up your protection by using a menstrual cup or tampon with a panty liner. Menstrual cups are much better at preventing leaks than tampons are, but their application may not be comfortable for everyone. Insert a new tampon just prior to exercising, so that you’ll have a better chance of being leak-free.

Here are 4 exercises you can explore during your periods:

  1. Aerobics: If you don’t feel enthusiastic about performing at your usual intensity, try some simpler aerobic exercises like running on a treadmill, Pilates, etc. If you play any games, continuing your sports during periods is a good idea.
  2. Yoga: By trying some breathing and relaxation exercises, you can reduce the stress and tension, in both mind and body. There are yoga postures that have been created specifically for the abdomen that can soothe painful muscles.
  3. Lifting Weight: If you don’t feel like moving around much, try lifting weights during your periods. You can burn calories even when at rest. Work out all major muscle groups. You can do smaller sets with lighter weights.
  4. Swim: Swimming during periods is not impossible. You can wear a tampon and take a dip, whether it is to swim laps or just to float around. The water will make you feel lighter and you’ll feel fresh too. Change your protection before and after the swim.
  5. Take home message: There is only one real rule for working out during your period: Listen to yourself. If you are cramping in a major way, listen to your body and take the day off. Push yourself to exercise but don’t push yourself too hard.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2458 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

Respected sir/madam, My daughter age 2 years and 9 months. Recently she suffered from fever and stomach ache, I consult pediatric and the doctor suggested for blood & urine test. One of the blood test result is SERUM CALCIUM- 9.1% mg/dl WIDAL TEST SALMONELLA TYPHI "O" Titre: 1:80. SALMONELLA type "H" TITRE: 1:40. SALMONELLA PARATYPH "AH" TITRE: 1:20. SALMONELLA PARATYPH "BH" TITRE: 1:20. Another blood test result HAEMOGLOBIN: 8.7 gms% WBC COUNT: 8,000 Cel/cum. NEUTROPILS: 41% LYMPHOCYTES: 55% EOSINOPILS: 04% monocyte: 00% basophil: 00% ESR: 10 mm/hr RBC: 5.13 platelet: 2.36 Lak/ cum. And the urine test result is PH: 6.0 specific gravity: 1.010 ALBUMIN: NIL SUGAR: NIL BILE SALTS:-VE BILE PIGMENTS:-VE UROBILINOGEN: ABSENT KETONE BODIES: NIL BLOOD: ABSENT nitrate: ABSENT PUC CELLS: 4-6 / HPF RBC: NIL EPITHELIAL CELLS: 2-3 /HPF CASTS: NIL CRYSTALS: NIL. Another urine test result is ORGANISM ISOLATED: E.COLI. COLONY COUNT: 1,00,000 CFU/ML SENSITIVE: Amikacin, imipenem, ceftriaxone, ciprofloxacin, cefoperazone, ceptazidime, cefiphime, cephalothin, co-trimoxazole, ofloxacin, piperacillin tazobactam, cephalexine, moxifloxacin, gatifloxacin, tetracycline, norfloxacin, gentamicin. RESISTANT: CEFADROXIL, CEFOTAXIME, CEFUROXIME, NALIDIXIC ACID. Sir/Madam finally the doctor said she is suffered with typhoid and urine infection then admit the hospital we give antibiotics. The problem is very serious or not? Admit the hospital is necessary or not? please tel me the ans. But my baby is not so dul she eat ok, play ok, sleep ok, but sometimes pain at stomach. I don't think for money I only think my baby don't sad. Give best suggestion,

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MS - General Surgery, Genito Urinary Surgery
Urologist, Ludhiana
I think the paediatrician is right. If you still doubt get a 2nd opinion of another paediatrician and then decide what to do.

Hi Sir, I am suffering from pain in stomach from 2-3 days. I had eaten junk food, cold drink 2 days before. I am also not take my food on proper time. So please help me out.

MBBS
General Physician, Mumbai
Dear lybrateuser, - Your problem could be due to acidity - avoid fried, spicy, sour & junk food, also limit tea, coffee intake to 1-2 cups per day if you have more - chew your food well, have meals on time, do not skip meals, have 4-5 small meals rather than three large meals for proper digestion, have a light dinner at least 2-3 hrs before bedtime - take tablet Pan 40, 1 tablet daily half an hour before breakfast - have plenty of oral fluids including 7-8 glasses of water per day for proper hydration & digestion.

I have been suffering abdominal pain since 3 days ago. My evacuation was liquid only a day but other times its soft and lesser. I already taken saline and algin (tymonium methyl sulphate) tablet 3 times but not getting any result. After taking gastric tablet few hours I felt good but not a permanent. Please suggest me what to do.

MBBS, MS - General Surgery
General Surgeon, Agra
My advice to you to go for ultrasound examination of abdomen to rule out any other major illness. Continue treatment for acidity and indigestion take cold milk and curd and digene / gelusil available over the counter.
1 person found this helpful

Table of Content

What is the treatment?
How is the treatment done?
Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)
Who is not eligible for the treatment?
Are there any side effects?
What are the post-treatment guidelines?
How long does it take to recover?
What is the price of the treatment in India?
Are the results of the treatment permanent?
What are the alternatives to the treatment?
Play video
Healthy Food for Stomach
Here are food list for healthy Stomach

Hi, I am Dr. Vandana Verma, a clinical nutritionist, and a physical therapist. I excel in weight loss management but also deal with therapeutic diets for patients struggling with metabolic disorders. I am the founder of Fitness For All, Gurgaon. Today I am going to tell you about few food products which can help you in maintaining a healthy gut.

A stomach is the hub of all the problems. So, if we have a healthy gut, we have a healthy life. So what are the food products which can help us have a healthy stomach? The first category of food which can help us in having a healthy gut is citrus fruits, fibrous foods, and leafy vegetables. So, at least to 20 to 25% of fiber is needed in a day for us to have a good gut. What are the foods which are rich in fiber which you can consume in a day? The foods are peanuts, cauliflower, carrots, beans, broccoli and wheat bran can add a good amount of fiber in your gut. Also, if you start having a smaller portion of fiber every day and drink lots of water, then over a period of time you can increase the fiber content in your diet. Then eating light green, dark green and yellow colored green leafy vegetables also make a lot of difference in your lining of the gut because they are very rich in beta carotene and Vitamin C and E.

Now, the second thing is that you should add a lot of prebiotics and probiotics in your diet. So how do we do that? Almost 100 filling bacteria are there in our gut at a given point of time. So what is important is to increase the ratio of the good bacteria over the bad bacteria. So, yogurt is a very good probiotic which everybody is aware of. To support the probiotic bacteria we need to have a lot of prebiotics which naturally are there with the probiotics. So, foods like ginger, onions, honey, avocado, and banana are the good pre biotics which can be had in the day. Choose food that suit. Try having food called carminatives that help to relieve gas in your stomach, for example, cumin. It is very important to add cumin while you are making black beans.

Similarly, ginger is a proven anti-nausea tic. So pregnant women can very safely have ginger whenever they feel a lot of nausea, then, peppermint leaves relief digestive disorders and relax the stomach linings. Eat food to flatten your tummy. If you lose weight, your GI tract will have fewer loads on it. Also, your acid reflux, acidity problems, and constipations, all these problems, if you are facing any of them will be relieved. I am sure by adding these food components in your diet you can have a healthy gut very soon.

In case you are struggling with obesity or any metabolic disorders and seeking professional help, you can contact me on Lybrate.
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Know More About Chest Pain
Causes of Chest pain
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Chronic Pain
Pain management for Chronic Pain
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Back Pain
Few daily habits to get rid of Back Pain
Hi I am Dr. Sidharth Verma and today I will tell you about Back Pain and how to prevent back pain. So back pain is, one of the most common pain which hampers the activities of mankind and it is so common that all of us will suffer from it at some point in our lifetime.
So how can you prevent that?
You can very easily prevent back pain and most of the cases which we see in our daily practice are due to lifestyle disorders and some other factors. So as far as lifestyle is concerned. Humans, when they evolved and became erect, so their back pain is the cost they have to give; and as the back is made of very small, small bones which are known as vertebrae. This is a model of the human back, you can see there are small, small bones which make up the back and there are a lot of small intervertebral discs in between. These are the structures that provide cushion and hold the vertebrae and there are a lot of small, small joints and many nerves and structures which are coming out, therefore, the back is a very complex structure and if you do not maintain it properly then you might have back pain. Now, this is all complicated stuff. Furthur, I will tell you how to easily prevent it.
First and foremost is which you can do from day 1 is maintain adequate hydration. Human body is 70% water, and if you see the back, The back has intervertebral discs and they are 90% water. So if you are not hydrated well then you will probably have more problems.
Number 2 is to control your body weight. So it has been seen that in patients or in persons who are obese, this problem occurs more. That is, they have more back pain. The causes are many but you should try to control your weight this will result in lesser back pain.
Number 3 is proper posture while you are you are doing your jobs or in your workplace or while you are driving or you are travelling. By proper posture, I mean that you should always sit with your back straight, and not hunching forward. This is one of the techniques.
Number 4 you should avoid sitting for long period of time without taking a break. This will help you to redistribute the weight of the back to different muscles and this will avoid fatigue, thereby resulting in lesser incidence of back pain.
Number 5 is selecting ergonomic furniture. Ergonomic furniture means which is designed for your body. If you go to the market usually the furniture and the kind of furniture you will get is designed more or less for a similar kind of individual maybe 5 ft 5 inches height or maybe who is sitting for a few hours. However, in actual practice, if you see that nobody is the same so everyone is different and hence you will need to have ergonomic furniture which will be specifically designed for you or there is kind of furniture available which has lots of keys or levers with which you can adjust the height, for example, the chair or the table where you are going to sit or at your workplace, you can get it all adjusted. And it may seem very difficult but if you actually start doing it is very easy. Most of the chairs which we use in our offices, they are rolling chairs which have adjustable levers and height as well as the seat quality and backrest all of it can be adjusted. Similarly the height of the tables can also be adjusted in many cases, if not all. So you can have these ergonomic furniture and this also will help.
Another factor which is responsible for majority of back pain, is unaccustomed activity. By unaccustomed activity I mean, that if you are not used to a particular activity and you do it once then probably you will have some problems. Say for example there is a folder which is kept at a height and you want to fetch it and you stretch your hand and you stretch it so much that your back muscles and your full arms, hand has to stretch so much which is unphysiological. So in these cases, it may result in micro injuries or macro injuries and this may result in back pain. Another common example can be, while lifting heavy loads. So in our routine structure, most of the people are sitting or doing jobs which do not involve lifting of heavy loads. So if you lift some heavy load on one particular day say for example, I got something to install in my house and when that thing comes and I lift it and I try to fit somewhere then that is unaccustomed for me because I am not doing it every day. So this may result in unaccustomed stress and sprains and strains to my back and this may result in back pain. So these are how you can prevent it.
Another very common cause is sleeping on very soft mattress or sleeping for inadequate amount of time. Some people have a habit of surfing mobile phone for a long period of time and they sleep on their table chair maybe on their bed with unphysiological postures. So these will result in increased incidents of back pain. Another common cause which you can prevent is while travelling. So if you are travelling and you are driving a car for example you should adjust your seat so that your back is always upright. And while taking the support, many people ask me if it is helpful to use fancy supports that are available for the car seats. The answer is no. They will not help you. In most cases, they are just fancy items and they will not help you. However, straightening your seat will help you a lot. If you straighten your seat to a point where you are sitting independently and you are seeking only the lower back support from your seat and you are sitting on your own then probably the chances of you getting back pain are less.
Another common thing which you can apply when you are travelling is do not drive for extended period of hours like, I have seen people who drive for maybe 6 hours at a stretch so if this is done occasionally or frequently then it may result in back pain. So if you can avoid and take a break maybe around 45 minutes to an hour every 45 minutes or an hour you can stop and walk around maybe for one or two minutes or you can get out of your car or you can just get down and have a break then you can continue driving so you can drive in bits and bytes then you can travel long distances also. But please be sure to take a small break at least so that your back is not strained unnecessarily.
Another common reason why people come with this back pain are these motorcycle riders or scooter riders who are travelling these long distances throughout the day. What they often do is that they carry these bags. So they carry these bags and backpacks and they funnily carry it on one shoulder. So it will be like a strap and they will carry it on one shoulder and they will do this throughout the day and then after one month or two months they will start having a pain on one side. So this one-sided stress is one of the reasons why people have back pain. If you are not driving a vehicle, then also if you are carrying a load or a backpack or if you are a student or if you are an office goer who has to carry these laptops. Because I have often seen these laptops come in suitcases or briefcases and obviously you have to carry them with one hand. SO it is better to switch from these one handed or one sided carrying devices to devices or bags which are distributing the load equally to both shoulders and back. So that the load is distributed and there is no asymmetrical stress that is the back, on one side, is not stressed unnecessarily.
Another common reason for people who travel a lot is that their legs are not properly placed. So, in addition to the back of the seat, the height of the seat also plays a role. In majority of vehicles however, the height is not an adjustable portion. So the one thing you can do is, you can go forward or you can go backwards that is towards the steering and away from the steering. This mechanism is available for most of the cars or most of the vehicles and with the help of this, you can have enough distance between the steering and your body so that your thighs are touching your seat till the point they can leave the seat that is until the maximum point they should be able to touch the seat. So this will again be helpful to reduce the stress on the back.
Another common cause of back pain is the lack of exercise. For exercise, I don t mean well I don t advise that you should go to the gym and lift weights or something like that. But by exercise, I mean exercises like walking. Even simple walking is one of the best exercises for back, swimming or even cycling, or even exercises for your abs. You may underestimate the importance of the exercises for your abs but you should know that abs they support the back to a great extent and weak abs or abdominal muscles are the common causes of back pain in healthy adults.
Other than these, there are causes like nutritional causes. By nutritional causes I mean the deficiency of specific nutrients in your diet. This may be deficiency of Vitamin D .This is one of the most common deficiencies which I see in my practice that most of the people who come to me with these deficiencies they are normal healthy individuals otherwise but due to some reasons, they have this Vitamin D deficiency. Many of them are non-vegetarians so it is a myth that you cannot have Vitamin deficiency if you are a non-vegetarian. So you may have deficiency of Vitamin D, which is necessary for the calcium metabolism and in the deficiency of this Vitamin you are more likely to have weak bones and this pain.
In elderly individuals, however, you may have other causes of weak bones and they may also lead to this back pain. So last but not the least, we have population which is ageing now. So we have more number of people who are above 40 years of age. In these people there are conditions known as degenerative conditions which is, due to age, the body starts degenerating. So if you don t use your body properly, it will start to degenerate. In many people, who are using the body properly also, due to genetic reasons, and environmental factors, it starts to degenerate. So in these patients there are lot of conditions that develop, and these may affect the intervertebral discs, the joints of the back, the muscles, as well as the ligaments. So these conditions can lead to the back pain in this age group, the elderly age groups that is. So these are the common causes and if you are careful enough, you can easily prevent them and help yourself to prevent your back pain. Prevention is always better than cure, so I will strongly recommend that you take my advice and follow these steps, and you are less likely to have back pain.
To know more, you can always visit my Lybrate website on www.lybrate.com/drsidharthverma or you can also visit my website www.pain.org.in. Thank You.

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