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Non Specific Low Back Pain and Beyond

Around 3 in 5 people in India suffer from back pain on an average. While most of the time the back pain issue is not serious, the cause is not known many a times. When such pain occurs, it is known as non -specific pain and only painkillers are used to ease it while continuing routine activities as usual. This kind of pain generally disappears within 5-6 weeks but there is every possibility of it reoccurring. Sometimes the pain reoccurs on a regular basis. This is when further treatment is required.

low back pain

CAUSES
As mentioned before there is no particular cause due to which non-specific low back pain occurs. But, the possible cause could be a ligament or a muscle sprain. Other causes include minor issues with the small facet joint in between the two vertebrae or minor issues with the spinal disc. The problems could also be due to lower back tissues and structure related as well. Hence, even when you try to do a test to find out the cause, it is not detectable and hence even the doctor is not able to do the exact diagnosis.

Many of you might be worried when there is no definite diagnosis because you are not aware of the exact course of treatment as well, but some of the optimistic souls feel good because they know that it is not a major condition but a minor non-specific condition that is treatable.

SYMPTOMS
Low back pain of non-specific type could be a result of either lifting some heavy object or an irregular movement that causes a twist or sometimes nothing at all. The pain just starts one fine day or morning in the lower back area and might spread to the thighs and buttocks over a period of time. Lying down or resting for a while can help the back pain with ease. This pain can occur on and off for some time but if it occurs for many months then it needs further diagnosis and treatment because it is termed chronic pain. So, if you experience the symptoms like the ones given below then it’s better to consult your doctor for chronic pain.
• Pain starts with less pain but aggravates over a few days to weeks
• A pain that is constant and does not subside even after lying down or resting
• Leg or feet muscles feel weak
• Experience a numbness in the leg
Well, as far as non-specific pain is concerned it does keep coming and going but does not persist for a long duration hence, it’s your call to take action if the pain is long lasting and reach out to your doctor for chronic pain diagnosis and treatment.

Department of Orthopaedics at Vydehi Hospital is full fledged and has all the facilities to treat the patients with Orthopaedic problems.

Vitamin D Deficiency and Joint Pain

While the studies are inconclusive till now and still research is going on, most of them do state that Vitamin D deficiency is responsible for joint as well as muscle pain. The symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency and Joint Pain include Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) pain that occurs in the knees, hips, and legs as well as joints and muscles.

Vitamin D Deficiency and Joint Pain

Joint Pain
There is a belief that Vitamin D plays a significant role in relieving the joint pain condition, specifically if the pain is due to deficiency. Some studies that support the belief include the following:

  • A 2011 study of postmenopausal women, published in ‘Maturitas’ suggested that the women with severe joint pain did suffer from very low vitamin D levels.
  • Another study in 2011 published under ‘Clinical Rheumatology’ stated that 70 percent of the patients who experienced some kind of joint pain were also deficient in Vitamin D.
  • A research paper of the year 2012 states that Vitamin D could be one of the risk factors associated with the inflammatory diseases such as RA and could also lead to an increase in the severity of it.
  • Another research paper of the year 2016 has stated that people with RA conditions also showed low Vitamin D levels.
  • Studies have also stated that increased level of Vitamin D in the body can help prevent joint conditions like Osteoporosis. Even people suffering from RA are subject to osteoporotic fractures and even suffer from joint pain.

These studies have been inconclusive after a large study in 2015 concluded that the evidence available is not strong enough to prove that Vitamin D deficiency is solely responsible for joint pain. But the fact that most of the Indians and numerous over the world suffer from Vitamin D deficiency holds true. The percentage is over 70% across the world when it comes to Vitamin D deficiency.

Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble nutrient which is found in many foods. A natural source of Vitamin D is the Sun. The normal levels of Vitamin D are said to be 30-80 ng/ ml while below 20 is considered to be a severe deficiency.

Food and Supplements
Experts suggest a daily intake of 600 IUS for anyone under 70 years of age. While infants below 1 it’s around 400 and adults above 70 its 800 IUS. Some food sources of Vitamin D include beef, egg yolks, shitake mushrooms, canned fish, almond milk, salmon, orange juice, fortified tofu, breakfast cereals, but to name a few. A Vitamin D test can help you know if you are deficient or not and the doctor might prescribe you vitamin D supplements if you are to bring your Vitamin D levels as per the desired levels.

Department of Orthopaedics at Vydehi Hospital is full-fledged and has all the facilities to treat the patients with Orthopaedic problems.

Sleep Advice for People with Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain has always been a painful and stressful issue for people who suffer from it on and off. Lower back pain is common amongst women in India particularly in women who have undergone C sections. It disrupts our daily routines and sleep as well. Pain in the day time or night time, does tend to distract you and affect your concentration levels on work. Still people do live with it but when it disrupts sleep, that is when it get to the nerves. So, let us look into certain sleeping positions that are suitable for people who suffer from back pain because even not sleeping in a proper posture can add to your pain, thus worsening it.

Well, its important to maintain a natural curve of the spine while you sleeping. To ensure that you maintain a proper posture when lying in bed you need so provide proper support to your back when you sleep and keep your hips, shoulders and head properly aligned. This is not easy as it seems because each one of us sleeps differently like some sleep on their left side, some on their left while some sleep on their stomach. Many avoid sleeping on back because of snoring issues.

lower back pain

Here are few postures that might help you in dealing with your lower back pain while in bed.

1. THE BEST POSITION – The best sleeping position is to lie on the back because it distributes the weight across the body’s surface and uniformly too. It maintains a good alignment of the spine, neck and head and minimizes the pressure points.

2. FETUS LIKE POSITION – This position is known to be very effective on people who suffer from herniated disc condition. The fetus position wherein the knees are tucked close to the chest helps in reducing the spine bend and opens the joints up as well.

3. PILLOW BETWEEN KNEES – Many people prefer sleeping on sides, even though it is not considered to be an appropriate sleeping position as it can strain the lower back by pulling out the spine out of its position. But, there is a solution to this. Simply place a firm pillow between your knees when you sleep on the sides thus realigning your pelvis, hips and spine.

4. RECLINER POSITION – This position has helped many with isthmic spondylolisthesis relieve themselves from lower back pain at night. Though an expensive solution, if it is helping you significantly reduce your back pain, then investing in a recline does seem a good idea. You can adjust the chair or bed as per the needs of your back.

Well, many of us are already aware that lower back problems can aggravate if we do not use appropriate mattress and pillows as well. So, it is important that you buy a mattress or pillow as per your requirement.

  1. Try changing your pillow every 12 -18 months.
  2. If you tend to sleep on your back a lot, use a thinner pillow to avoid straining your neck
  3. Pillows made from memory foam are a good choice as they take the shape of your head or neck.
  4. A medium firm mattress is a good choice for those of you with lower back conditions.
  5. Avoid softer mattresses because they tend to disturb spin alignment and change them every 10 years.

A good night’s sleep is indeed important for good health and fitness so if you have lower back issues the most important thing to do first is to catch up with a Physiotherapist and see what he has to advice on the same.

Department of Orthopaedics at Vydehi Hospital is full pledged and has all the facilities to treat the patients with Orthopaedic problems. There are 8 senior consultants, 2 Senior residents, 5 Post graduate students and Interns in the department. Department renders service throughout the day on all days.