Backache and Prevention
The back is a well-designed structure made up
of bone, muscles, nerves and other soft tissues. As caregivers often
put undue strain on their back while lifting a person, they are particularly
vulnerable to back injury. Backache is usually caused by tearing
or straining the ligaments around the spine, resulting in inflammation and
pain in the affected area.
Consult your doctor if you are experiencing severe back pain that persist
for more than 48 hours, or weakness, numbness or tingling
sensation spreads down your legs.
Raised the Foot of the Bed if Possible. As most home bed are
quite low, you should take care not to bend and strain your back.
Always work with a helper if possible. Bed raisers can be
used to raise the foot of the bed.
Keep Back Straight by
Bending Your Knees. Use the longest and strongest muscles
in your thigh to provide the energy needed for the task. The muscles that move
your back bone are small and are not designed for the heaviest work.
Keep your back straight by bending knees for tasks that require you to lower your height.
Keep Feet Apart for a Broad Base
of Support. Stand
with your feet apart to help you keep
your balance. If the feet are close together, weight is distributed over a small
area. Balance can be upset in this position when there is even a
slight tilt of the body.
Carry Object Close to Your Body. Stand
as close as possible to the object your are moving. This will
bring the centre of gravity of you and the object close, hence
increase your stability and reduce strain on your muscles.
Practically, when moving a person on bed, you can place your
knee on his bed to get your centre of gravity close to the
Push, Pull, or Roll Whenever Possible,
Rather than Lift. It
takes more effort to lift something against the force of gravity.
Pushing and pulling allows the use of your body weight to
facilitate the move while rolling
requires less muscles work. If you need to lift, lift towards you, never away and you will have
Avoid Twisting and Stretching Muscles
During Work. Move smoothly and
evenly while working. Jerky movements strain muscles and usually occur when there
to bring work as close to the body and its center of gravity as possible.
Point feet in the direction of movement to avoid twisting
Tips on Treating Backache at Home
Rest in a comfortable position.
If the pain is severe, you should lie down, either in bed with a
medium-firm mattress or on the floor. You should lie in whatever position
that is most comfortable. If you are more comfortable in an armchair,
support the back with pillows or cushions.
Continue with light activity.
Until your back has completely recovered you should not lift anything
heavy. However, prolonged bed rest is not a good idea for back pain.
Try to keep up with activities that are not painful to your back because
light activities speed healing and recovery.
Apply cold, then heat to the part
that hurts. Such treatment is effective to soothe sore
and inflamed muscles. Simply put the ice in a bag, then wrap the
bag in a cloth or towel. Use ice for as long as spasms persist. After spasms and acute pain subside, you can apply heat from a heating
pad or warm towel to help loosen tight muscles. This treatment can
be performed several times a day but limit each heat application to 20
Use pain relievers.
Paracetamol (example Panadol) is commonly used to relief pain. You
should also seek medical advice, as medication, for example muscle relaxants
can be prescribed.
Consider using a support brace
or corset. Consult your doctor first. If necessary,
it is best to use a brace or corset only for short periods or during back-straining
activities. This is because your back muscles may weaken with prolonged
reliance of these devices.