Why does back pain happen?

Almost everybody gets a back pain at some point.

Back pain can happen from muscle strain, after physical activity

Arthritis affecting the joints of the spine.

Disc problems.

Pinched nerves.

Bones [vertebra] which are out of place.

Rarely Tumor on infection

What are the symptoms?

Patients can experience 

Pain or stiffness in the lower back.

See your healthcare provider immediately if you have

Numbness or tingling around your genitals or buttocks.

Difficulty peeing

Urinating or Defecating on yourself

Chest pain.

High grade fever.

Unusual weight loss

Swelling or Abnormal appearing back.

When it does not improve after rest or gets worse at night.

Started after trauma, like falling down, car accident. 

What should I do if I have symptoms of Back pain?

Consult your healthcare provider.

How is Back pain diagnosed and treated?

Your healthcare provider will perform a physical exam, and order imaging if necessary.

Medicines, Exercises will be prescribed to relieve the discomfort.

Surgery is indicated only when there is a specific cause for the back pain.

Self-help for Back pain?

Take medicines for pain relief as prescribed by your healthcare provider.

Massage the muscles that are tense. Stay active.

Applying ice to the area to decrease pain [5 minutes at a time, to prevent skin damage]

Apply heating pad/Hot water bottle/hot shower to the area to decrease pain 5-10 minutes at a time [Use caution with heat, it can burn your skin]

Obtain a 'ok'  from your healthcare provider to perform back exercises.

Reduce stress, talk to your healthcare provider about stress relieving exercises.

Watch your posture. Learn to lift using your legs instead of your back.

What can I do to prevent Backpain?

Use good posture, Stay active

Avoid sitting in one position for too long.

Lift with your legs instead of your back.

 

Back strengthening exercises

Mattress and pillow with good support

Stress management.

 

 

 

I am stressed!

If you're stressed, whether by your job or something more personal, the first step to feeling better is to identify the cause.

Not taking control of the situation, and not doing anything will make the problem worse.

Unaddressed mental stress can lead to mental health conditions like depression, anxiety Etc.

It can lead to insomnia. Unaddressed stress can cause physical ailments.

What can I do to manage my stress?

1. Be active: Moderate intensity exercise for 30 minutes like walking, can decrease the intensity of stress.

Exercise will not make the stress go way completely, But it will clear your thoughts, and make you calm. You can deal with the stress in a calm manner.

2. Take control: Find a solution to the problem causing the stress.

3. Connect with people: A good network of colleagues, family, friends can ease work troubles, and help you see things in a different way

4. Have some 'me time': take a walk during lunch time, take a vacation, spend some time for exercise, relaxation.

5. Challenge yourself: challenge yourself by learning a new language, new sport, or any activity that interests you. It boosts your self-confidence, and also stimulates the brain.

6. Avoid unhealthy habits: do not rely on smoking, alcohol, drugs to relieve your stress. It might provide temporary relief, but it will not make the problems go away.

7. Help other people: you can help other people by volunteering. If you're busy, you can perform small helpful acts at your office. 

8. Work smarter, not harder: Working smarter means prioritising your work, concentrating on the tasks that'll make a real difference. Get yourself familiar with technology to save a lot of time.

9. Try to stay positive: Look at positive things in your life, and be grateful. You can write to positive things in your life first thing in the morning in your journal daily. You can read the journal when you feel down or stressed out.

10. Accept the things you can't change: Unfortunately, some things cannot be changed. Focus on things which you have control over.

11. Eat a healthy diet to stay strong.

12. Obtain at least eight hours of restful sleep to rejuvenate.

 

What is insomnia?

Insomnia means you have difficulty sleeping on a regular basis. It usually gets better by changing your sleeping habits.

What are the symptoms of insomnia?

Find it hard to go to sleep.

Waking up multiple times at night.

Lying awake at night

Waking up early and cannot fall asleep again.

Feeling tired after waking up

Difficulty napping during the day even when you try

Feeling tired and irritable

Difficulty with concentration because you're tired.

How much sleep does one need?

Adults on an average require about 7-9 hours.

Children 9-15 hours.

Toddlers and babies 12-17 hours.

What are the common reasons for insomnia?

Uncontrolled stress, anxiety or depression.

Noise

Room that is too hot or too cold.

Uncomfortable bed, pillow.

Alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, recreational drugs.

Jet lag

Irregular sleep schedule like shiftwork, graveyard shift

Self-help for insomnia?

Go to bed and wake up the same time every day[Even during holidays, vacation, weekends]. Go to bed only when you feel tired. 

Start relaxing, winding down one hour before going to bed. You can take a relaxing bath, or read a paper book.

Make sure your bedroom is comfortable. It should be dark and quiet. You can use eye masks, ear plugs. Do not keep TV in the bedroom. Put your cell phone on silent mode.

30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise during the day. Avoid strenuous exercise before going to bed.

Make sure your mattress, pillow, covers, night dress are comfortable.

What are the things I should NOT do?

Do not use stimulants like tea, coffee and tea six hours before going to bed. Avoid alcohol six hours before going to bed.

Do not need a big meal at night.

Did not perform strenuous exercises at least four hours before bed.

Do not watch television, or use any devices with bright green like Cell phone, iPad, laptops, computer etc, one hour before going to bed.

Avoid napping over 30 minutes during the day.

Do not drive when you're sleepy.

Do not sleep in after a bad night sleep, or weekends. Stick to your regular sleeping hours all the time.

See your Healthcare provider if you continue to notice insomnia.

How can the healthcare provider help me?

Your healthcare provider can talk to you more about sleep hygiene.

They can prescribe medicines to help you with insomnia or conditions causing insomnia.

 Complications of insomnia.

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This calming breathing technique for stress, anxiety and panic takes just a few minutes and can be done anywhere.

You will get the most benefit if you perform these exercises for 5-10 minutes twice a day on a daily basis even when you are feeling well.

You can do it standing up, sitting in a chair that supports your back, or lying on a bed or yoga mat on the floor. 

Find a quiet room with comfortable temperature.

Make yourself as comfortable as you can. If you can, loosen any clothes that restrict your breathing.

If you're lying down, place your arms a little bit away from your sides, with the palms up. Let your legs be straight, or bend your knees so your feet are flat on the floor.

If you're sitting, place your arms on the chair arms.

If you're sitting or standing, place both feet flat on the ground. Whatever position you're in, place your feet roughly hip-width apart.

Take a slow deep breath from your nose, and let it flow deep into your belly without forcing it.

Breathe out slowly through your mouth.

Breathe in and out very slowly. You can count steadily from 1 to 5 in your head when you taking a deep breath in.

You can count 1 to 5 steadily as you are breathing out.

Keep taking deep, slow breaths in and out for 10 minutes. 

What are the symptoms of shoulder problems?

Pain and stiffness that does not go way over months or years.

Pain that's worse after using your arm or shoulder.

Tingling, numbness, week feeling like it's clicking on locking

Sudden bad pain where you cannot move your arm, or it changes shape.

Pain on the top of the shoulder.

Acute severe discomfort in the shoulder, preventing regular activities.

What should I do if I have shoulder problem?

Consult your healthcare provider.

You should see your healthcare provider right away if you have

Pain is sudden or very bad.

You are unable to move your arm.

Shoulder or arm has changed shape or severe swelling.

Pins and needles that do not go way.

No feeling in the arm or shoulder.

Arm or shoulder is hot or cold to touch.

Unable to move shoulder after trauma [ Falls, car accidents]

How can my healthcare provider help me?

Your healthcare provider will talk to you about the injury, perform a physical exam.

If it is determined necessary, your healthcare provider will order imaging tests. [X-ray, CT scan, MRI] 

They will prescribe medicines, exercises to relieve discomfort.

Self-help?

Consult your healthcare provider if there is any concern at any time.

Self-help is recommended only for mild symptoms.

Stay active and gently move the affected shoulder.

Try exercises recommended by your healthcare provider.

Stand up straight to your shoulders gently back.

Sit with a cushion behind the lower back.

Rest your arm on a cushion in your lap.

Use medicines prescribed by your healthcare provider for pain relief. You can use ice packs, heating pad. Avoid ice/heat burn injury to the skin.

Do NOT do the following.

Do not stop using your shoulder completely.

Do not do activities that make the symptoms worse.

Do not make up your own strenuous exercises, or use heavy gym equipment.

Do not slouch was sitting.