Monday, December 22, 2014

How to look after your back


What are the risk factors for back pain?

A risk factor is something which increases the likelihood of developing a condition or disease. For example, obesity significantly raises the risk of developing diabetes type 2. Therefore, obesity is a risk factor for diabetes type 2. The following factors are linked to a higher risk of developing low back pain:
  • A mentally stressful job
  • Pregnancy - pregnant women are much more likely to get back pain
  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Age - older adults are more susceptible than young adults or children
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Gender - back pain is more common among females than males
  • Obesity/overweight
  • Smoking
  • Strenuous physical exercise (especially if not done properly)
  • Strenuous physical work.

What are the signs and symptoms of back pain?


A symptom is something the patient feels and reports, while a sign is something other people, such as the doctor detect. For example, pain may be a symptom while a rash may be a sign. 


The main symptom of back pain is, as the name suggests, an ache or pain anywhere on the back, and sometimes all the way down to the buttocks and legs. In most cases signs and symptoms clear up on their own within a short period. 



If any of the following signs or symptoms accompanies a back pain your should see your doctor:

  • Weight loss
  • Elevated body temperature (fever)
  • Inflammation (swelling) on the back
  • Persistent back pain - lying down or resting does not help
  • Pain down the legs
  • Pain reaches below the knees
  • A recent injury, blow or trauma to your back
  • Urinary incontinence - you pee unintentionally (even small amounts)
  • Difficulty urinating - passing urine is hard
  • Fecal incontinence - you lose your bowel control (you poo unintentionally)
  • Numbness around the genitals
  • Numbness around the anus
  • Numbness around the buttocks.

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