Back Pain

Chronic Back Pain, is a pain,stiffness, muscle tension localized anywhere from upper back (between theshoulder blades) till the level of the tail bone (Coccyx). The back is divided into upper back pain (shoulder blades),middle back pain (thoracic), lower back pain (lumbar) or coccydynia (tailboneor sacral pain) based on the segment affected. Neck pain (cervical), which isconsidered an independent entity, can involve similar processes. The lumbararea is the most common area for pain, as it supports most of the weight in theupper body. Episodes of back pain may be acute, sub-acute, or chronic dependingon the duration. Most of the people suffer majorly by low back pain compared toupper back or middle back. It is defined as chronic when it persists for 12weeks or more. Nonspecific back pain is pain not attributed to any pathologicalconditions like infections, tumors, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, fractureor any inflammation.

Globally, about 40% of people haveback pain at some point in their lives, with estimates as high as 80% of peoplein the developed world. Approximately 9 to 12% of people (632 million) have LBP(Low Back Pain)  at any given point intime, and nearly one quarter (23.2%) report having it at some point over anyone-month period. Difficulty most often begins between 20 and 40 years of age.Low back pain is more common among people aged 40–80 years, with the overallnumber of individuals affected expected to increase as the population ages.

Back Pain Stats:

  • 80% of Americans dealwith some sort of upper or lower back pain event during their lives
  • 31 million peoplecurrently suffer from back pain in the United States
  • Back pain is the mostcommon reason for missing work, and the second leading reason for seeing adoctor
  • 55% of adults willtreat their own back pain
  • 70% of adults takeanti-inflammatory drugs to treat symptoms of back pain, but only 9% changeddiet to relieve symptoms
  • 49% of adults tookpainkillers to treat back pain
  • 60% of back pain casesrelapse on average according to an ESJ study3
  • 32% of back painsufferers use physical rest to improve their condition
  • 30% perform backexercises at home to relieve pain, 13% exercise at a gym
  • 25% of adults withback pain use heat pads or analgesics for back pain
  • 80% of baby boomersused OTC pain medications like Advil for back pain, while only 52% ofmillennials used this type of medication

Signs & Symptoms:

  • Muscle ache
  • Shooting or stabbing pain
  • Pain that worsens with bending,lifting, standing or walking
  • Pain that improves with reclining,resting

Causes:

  • Muscle or ligamentstrain
  • Bad sitting/ standing  posture
  • Repeated heavy liftingor a sudden awkward movement can strain back muscles and spinal ligaments
  • Bulging orruptured disks
  • Arthritis
  • Scoliosis
  • Osteoporosis

Risk Factors:

  • Age: Backpain is more common as you get older, starting around age 30 or 40.
  • Lack of exercise:Weak, unused muscles in your back and abdomen might lead to back pain.
  • Excess weight:Excess body weight puts extra stress on your back.
  • Diseases:Some types of arthritis and cancer can contribute to back pain.
  • Improper lifting:Using your back instead of your legs can lead to back pain.
  • Psychological conditions:People prone to depression and anxiety appear to have a greater risk of backpain.
  • Smoking:This reduces blood flow to the lower spine, which can keep your body fromdelivering enough nutrients to the disks in your back. Smoking also slowshealing.

Yogic Management forChronic Back Pain:

STANDING ASANAS :

  • Ardha Kati Chakarsana
  • Ardha Chakrasana
  • Tadasana

SUPINE ASANAS :

  • Ardha Pawanmuktasana
  • Purna Pawanmuktasana
  • Sethubandhasana

PRONE ASANAS:

  • Salambha Bhujangasana
  • Ardha Shalabhasana

SEATED ASANAS :

  • Shashankasana
  • Vakrasana
  • Adho Mukhosvanasana
  • Pashcimotanasana

PRANAYAMAS:

  • Nadi Shudhi Pranayama
  • Bhrahmari

One must not practise yogasanas atthe time of the pain, yogasana do not help in acute pains. During acute pains,one must seek help of pain management. Yogasanas and Pranayamas will definitelyhelp for chronic cases, helping to ease the stiffness and at the same timestretching and strengthening the back muscles to avoid future episodes of pain.

PRECAUTIONS:Pleaseavoid postures/ asanas like both leg raises (Utthanasana with both legs),intense postures for abs (Navkasana) and also forward bends (Padhastasana) mustbe avoided. Alternate way of performing forward bend for back pain individuals,is by keeping the knees slightly bent. This will reduce the efforts on the backmuscles and will still give nice stretch to it.