How to prevent and treat back pain

Back pain has become an increasingly more frequent problem due to our current lifestyle, characterized by a lack of physical activity and sedentary habits. However, preventing or reducing it is possible: take note of these tips from the spine specialists at Instituto Clavel!

Almost everyone has suffered from back pain at some time in their life, and especially if there are other risk factors involved: being overweight, over a certain age, in poor physical condition, or performing certain types of work. However, we should rid ourselves of the idea that suffering pain is something normal that cannot be avoided, since pain is not something automatic, but rather is an alarm signal that something is wrong and requires attention

The Instituto Clavel medical team offers advice to prevent or treat back pain. In this article we review some of the most frequent questions asked about this condition and we give you a professional answer, geared both to people who want to prevent pain and those who seek to treat it.

Why does my back hurt?

With back pain, it is very important to determine its causes and not resign yourself to suffering. With the exception of serious diseases, such as tumors, infections or kidney stones, which are rarely found to be the cause of the pain, most of the time the cause is found in musculoskeletal disorders, such as contractures, muscle sprains, injured discs or herniated discs.

What can I do to prevent the pain?

As is usually the case, the best weapon to avoid back pain is prevention, so we must take care of our bodies to enjoy a good quality of life. As Dr. Pablo Clavel points out, staying active through exercise will strengthen the muscle and bone structures of our body and give them greater resistance that will prevent the onset of pain.

And if our daily activity requires considerable physical effort or repetitive movements that endanger our backs, we must follow the guidelines of good posture and occupational health and safety recommendations, such as performing stretches, complying with rest periods or the implementation of measures to correctly lift loads.

My back hurts! What can I do about the pain?

First of all, it is necessary to differentiate between two basic types of pain: acute and chronic. In the first case, we are faced with sudden onset pain that lasts less than six weeks and is usually due to falls or strain from some exertion. Very often the first thing recommended for treating this back pain is rest, which will be enough for the muscles to recover on their own. However, sometimes pain relievers or anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed to help a faster recovery.

My back has been hurting for a long time and it doesn’t seem to get better: what can I do?

In this case, we are faced with the second type of pain, chronic pain, which lasts for more than 3 months and requires a more complex approach. You should always go to a specialist to determine the cause of the problem and you should avoid home remedies and self-medication. 

In addition to the aforementioned pharmacological treatment, which must always be prescribed by a doctor, you can also try infiltrations and physical therapy, since both options can be helpful. However, these options are often a simple patch when the problem is severe, which will not solve an underlying problem.

I have been told I need surgery, but this frightens me. What should I do?

Surgery may be one of the options for definitive treatment of more complex lesions that are often the ultimate cause of back pain, such as spondylosis, protrusions, or hernias.

If the surgery is unavoidable, we also have to avoid thinking of surgery in the traditional way. Today there are alternatives to conventional surgical treatments that often limit the physical capacity of patients and do not completely eliminate pain.

Minimally invasive spinal surgery techniques, such as those practiced by Instituto Clavel surgeons, make it possible to eliminate the source of the pain and regain full recovery of back mobility, something unimaginable a few years ago with traditional spinal fusion techniques. The use of state-of-the-art prostheses, artificial disc replacement surgery or ADR, and innovative approaches such as the anterior approach or lateral approach, allow  total recovery of patients in record time.

So, although prevention is essential for taking care of one’s back, when pain shows up, consulting a specialist is a must in order to get an accurate diagnosis and a definitive solution to the problem.

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