10 Facts About Back Pain
If you suffer from back pain, you may already know what some new research is telling us: common pain relievers aren’t much help.
A review of 35 studies on the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to treat back pain found that only one in six people gained a benefit from taking Aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil®) or naproxen (Aleve®). And taking these over-the-counter, or OTC, drugs may cause or increase gastrointestinal problems.
The studies tracked about 6,000 people who took NSAIDs for a week or so, on average. According to review author Gustavo Machado, a research fellow with the George Institute for Global Health in Sydney, Australia, they showed that commonly-used over-the counter painkillers have only a slight effect on pain relief.
“Moreover,” he added, “these small effects may not be perceived as important for most patients with spinal pain.”
The review also showed that people taking the drugs were 2.5 times more likely to experience gastrointestinal side effects, compared with those taking inactive placebos.
So what can you do? Many experts recommend yoga , Pilates , or simple stretching exercises to strengthen the spinal column and the supporting muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Remember to always check with your healthcare provider before starting any type of treatment.
10 facts about back pain:
1. Back injuries are second only to the common cold as a reason why people stay home from work.
2. Back injuries are a leading cause of long-term illness from injuries in the workplace.
3. Back injuries account for the loss of millions of dollars for companies each year.
4. 8 out of 10 people will experience back pain at some time in their lives.
5. Back and neck pain are the leading cause of pain worldwide.
6. Back pain is more common the older you get. You may first have back pain when you are between 30 and 40 years old.
7. Some causes of back pain, such as ankylosing spondylitis [http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ankylosing-spondylitis/home/ovc-20261048], have a genetic component.
8. Being in poor physical condition can contribute to back pain. Back pain is more common in people who are not fit.
Smoking has been shown to raise the risk of debilitating back pain by about 30%. Smoking also seems to make people slightly more vulnerable to pain in the neck, shoulders, elbows, hands, hips, and knees.
9. Having a job that requires heavy lifting, pushing, or pulling can lead to injury and back pain. If your job is sedentary that may also lead to back pain if you have poor posture or not enough back support.
10. Stress can affect the body in numerous ways, including causing muscle tension that leads to pain in the back and neck.