Back Pain

Lumbago, one of the most common types of back pain, is pain in your lumbar (or lower back) region. This part of your back moves the most often and is thus under the most pressure when sitting or when lifting, sometimes resulting in muscle spasms or strains. If your back pain persists, visit your IPSA physician. In the meantime, speak to your IPSA pharmacist where you will be advised on suitable pain relief, such as taking anti-inflammatory pain-relief tablets like ibuprofen.

Back pain and nerves

Your spine consists of interlocking bones (vertebrae) that are separated by discs which allow your back to bend. If one (or more) of your discs bulges or leaks, pain can be triggered as the disc presses on a nerve root/s and releases chemical irritants in the region of one (or more) of these nerve roots. This type of pain, known as sciatica, might not just be present in your back, as it may also ‘spread’ into your legs and/or your buttocks.

The factors that can make your back pain worse include:

  • A lack of exercise: Weakened tummy muscles might be a factor because these muscles work alongside your back muscles, thus stabilising your spine. Exercise (e.g. yoga and Pilates) can help to strengthen the core muscles involved
  • Driving: Driving subjects your body to continuous vibration and many people sit badly when they are at the wheel
  • Poor posture: Having a poor posture can make your backache worse. Ensure that your posture is good when driving, working, standing or when sitting
  • Heavy physical activity: This includes lifting and handling heavy loads and is a major factor in making your back pain worse