Back Pain

  1.  Kelley’s Textbook of Internal Medicine, Fourth Edition, 2000, “Approach to the Patient with Back Pain,” written by Glen S. O’Sullivan, U.S.A.:

“Lower back pain is one of the most common reasons for medical visits.  Two of every three people have suffered from lower back pain at some time in their lives; the annual incidence is 2 percent to 5 percent.”

“Lower Back pain is becoming a growing problem in industrialized countries, accounting for up to $50 billion spent per year in the United States alone.  Ninety percent of that budget is spent on 10 percent of those patients, who have persistent chronic pain lasting longer than three months.  In 85 percent of cases, an underlying case for lower back pain is not established.”

Table 171.4 of the above-mentioned study describes:

The “Posture techniques that help avoid lower back pain.”

Standing:

  • Maintain good abdominal tone; keep abdomen flattened while standing.
  • When prolonged standing is necessary, place one foot on a step for a few minutes.
  • Wear cushion-soled shoes for prolonged standing.”

“Bending, lifting, carrying:

  • Bend at the knees, not at the waist.
  • Lift with the thighs (keep heavy objects centered close to abdomen).
  • Flex knees while bending.
  • When carrying heavy objects, turn with the feet, not by twisting the trunk.”

“Sitting and lying:

  • Sit on a straight-backed, firm, supportive chair.
  • Sit only for short periods.
  • Sleep on your back with your knees bent or on your side on a firm mattress.
  • Avoid prolonged standing, prolonged sitting, and improper lifting.”