back-off to back ache
Mukesh Batra gives you an upfront look at back ache and how
to beat it
is not surprising that backache is responsible for 24 per
cent cases of absenteeism at work. In this modern world which
encourages a cushy life with long hours of sitting, sleeping
on foam mattresses and lack of exercise, backaches are as
common as a cold or a headache.
Interestingly only human beings suffer from backaches and
the complaint increases with increasing modernisation. This
is primarily due to modern lifestyle which involves sitting
in a particular posture for long stretches of time, absence
of exercise, sleeping on soft surfaces like foam mattresses.
Backache is commonly seen in disorders like spondylosis, disc
prolapse, congenital abnormalities and trauma. There are however
at least 20 varieties of diseases which can manifest as backache.
Whatever the cause of your backache there are measures you
can take to ease the pain. The easiest thing to do is apply
local heat by means of a hot water bottle. There are some
general precautions, which those suffering from backache need
The best way to prevent common back problems is to stay fit
and active. Staying active will also help control your weight
which is one of the primary reasons of back pain.
The easiest way to ease your back pain is by applying local
heat by means of a hot water bottle. While
lifting heavy objects keep your back straight. Poor lifting
technique is a major cause of back strain and injury. Injuries
are less likely if you are fit and have strong back, stomach
and leg muscles.
is the correct lifting technique:
Make a firm base with the feet, keeping them about shoulder
with the legs, bending the knees rather than the back
not kneel or overbend the knees
the chin held in and raised as this helps keep the back
the load is as close to the body as possible
Keep the arms and elbows tucked in close to the body
Do not twist the back but change direction by moving the
Other precautions to be taken during
your day-to-day life are
Avoid high heels.
Do not sleep in your chair.
Use a cushion to support the small of your back
Use a hard bed.
These precautions provide relief from the pain and in combination
with constitutional homeopathic medication; they provide a
complete solution to the problem. The homeopathic medicines
are prescribed to deal with the underlying disease condition,
which causes the backache thus giving a chance to the patient
to lead a much more comfortable and productive life.
author is chairman and managing director of Dr Batras
Positive Health Clinic Ltd. and can be contacted at email@example.com)
for the Traveller
It is no secret that long hours in a plane, train, bus or
car does not do your back much good. Back ache is rated as
the third commonest complaint after headache and tiredness.
Women outnumber men in back problems. For travellers, it is
a perennial hazard due to the long hours of sitting in one
posture. Frequent travellers who beat the system and successfully
staved off back ache give these tips:
If you are on a plane or train, get up and walk around for
a few minutes every hour. On long car trips, stop every
hour and walk around. Sitting increases pressure in the
vertebral discs and this makes it all the more painful for
people with lower-back problems.
If you cannot walk in a plane or a train for some reason,
stand up periodically. Standing upright reduces the strain
on the lower back.
The art of sitting for long hours is to tuck a small pillow
in the gap between your lower back and the seat to counter
the tendency to slump.
Sitting slumped is disaster. While standing, the lower portion
of your back - the lumbar region curves inwards but whilst
sitting, it tends to slump outwards squeezing the ends of
the vertebra discs, cutting off their supply of nutritious
It is useful to empty your back pockets when sitting for
hours. Sitting on a thick wallet or a bunch of keys gives
an unnatural twist to the spine.
Sitting long with legs crossed is bad for the back and legs.
It contracts the leg muscles, distributing weight unevenly
on the hips and pelvis.
It helps if you rest your feet on a briefcase or carry-on
bag on the floor. This elevates your knees above the hip
making the lumbar spine curve inwards rather than outwards.
If suffering from back problems, limit your luggage to less
than 15 kilos. Its recommended that you distribute
the weight evenly by carrying one small suitcase in each
hand. A large suitcase carried in one hand would result
in asymmetrical loads on the spine.
With two small suitcases, position them close to your sides,
bend both knees, grasp the handles and slowly straighten
the knees. Maintain an upright posture.
Travel with suitcases that have attached wheels and retractable
handles. Alternatively, carry a light portable luggage carrier
with wheels. Push rather than pull.
Lifting heavy bags is riskier in early morning. Fluids pool
in your spinal discs while you sleep, making your lower
back extra sensitive to irritation on waking up. Therefore,
if you are leaving early in the morning, better load the
car the night before.