By Dr Swati Sangolkar Tayade
Physiotherapy can help significantly to ease your pain.
As I said in my last article (Link), whenever people feel pain they pop up pain killers or apply balm to relieve their symptoms. It might help to relieve pain partially.
But it’s temporary because pain a symptom that our body elicits whenever there is an injury. ‘Pain’ is the protective phenomenon, a warning to our body to stop certain movements so that further damage can be avoided. But when we take pain killers or apply balm, it temporarily subside the pain and we resume the activities. But there is already some micro damage happened with the muscles that continues every time when you land up with pain and simultaneously weakens our muscular system . A weak musculature imparts great damage to your spine and nerves, worsening the problem over a period of time.
Physiotherapy plays crucial to reduce this damage and regain the muscles health.
If you get pain in your low back you must consult a physiotherapist who will reduce your pain without any painkiller and also help you to strengthen your muscles.
The are few basic exercises that can help to subsides the pain. But the important caution is that No exercises should be done when you are in pain.
Many people think that physiotherapy helps only till the sessions, once that’s over pain relapses.
It is true because muscle strengthening doesn’t happen quickly overnight. Its takes several weeks to achieve a long term benefit.
And it cannot be achived by lifting heavy like gym. It’s a gradual process and to sustain the results we need to continue the exercises regularly.
Strengthening the Core One might think that are just abs and back. But its not correct, the core muscles are all the muscles that are attached to the spine and provide stability to the shoulder, hip and trunk...the entire torso. They provide stability to all our movements hence call thev”Pillar”.
A stable the core results into efficient and powerful movements.
To find them, put your hand on your waist, then suck in your belly button toward your spine.
You’ll feel the muscles under your skin get tight. These are the core muscles.
Stretching: Along with core activation, stretching of muscles also helps in reducing your pain levels. Stretches improves blood circulation thus drains out the toxins.
All stretches needs to be repeated twice a day at least 3 times with 20-30 sec holds.
Good posture and Ergonomics: Our posture plays a crucial role in maintaining the spine health.
Sitting for longer hours and standing with pressure on one leg for prolonged time increases the risk of injury to your back.
Ergonomics means “The study of people's efficiency in their working environment.” It is important in regard to all postures whether it’s sitting, standing, bending or lifting any weight.
Here are some tips to maintain good Posture:
Sitting – Sit straight with your shoulders back and chin in/Neutral.
Always take back support when you are working on the desktop or laptop.
Keep your knees at 90 degrees with your hip and feet.
Should take frequent breaks every 30-45 minutes.
Standing- While standing always put weight on both the legs. If you need to stand for long time keep a low stool near you and keep shifting your feel on it.
Lifting things from floor- Always bend your knees and tuck your tummy while bending down to lift anything from the floor.
If the object is use heavy, it should be kept as close to the body as possible.
Following these tips and excercise regularly definitely help to maintain the Spine health. But only self treatment for long time can leave many important issues unchecked causing further damage. So it is important to consult a physiotherapist before you incorporate anything new in your exercises routine.
Dr. Swati Sangolkar Tayde is a Consultant Physiotherapist based in Mumbai