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Charne asked...

Suffering muscles spasms and chronic back pain

How would I treat my self whilst suffering muscles spasms. And chronic back pain. I am 18 years old and have been like this for the past year.

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The answer

Thank you for your question.

It is unclear if you have seen your GP or had a Specialist referral as yet as to discover the reason/cause for your on going back pain, or if the back pain was originally caused by an injury.

We are also unsure if you have had any intervention from a Chiropractor or Physiotherapist. With regards to the back, there can be many reasons as to why you are having long term symptoms, but have made a simple reply to explore all your possible options that may be of assistance.

Symptoms

Symptoms may be triggered by injury, misalignment, posture, lifting incorrectly, it is therefore really important that any long term issues, symptoms are discussed with your GP and following examination / assessment, it may be decided that further investigations or tests may be required to determine the cause.

Treatment

Although it is highly recommended for any long term symptoms to be discussed with your GP, it may be suggested that you use some other techniques to assist with your symptoms.

  • Over the counter pain relief may be of assistance (oral pain relief, Anti-inflammatories either tablet or gel forms). Please discuss this with your local Pharmacist to which ones may be more appropriate with your current symptoms, and also ensure that you make them aware of any other medications you may be taking.)
  • Be aware of your posture, and how this may be attributing to your pain. Ensure your back is well supported especially if you are sitting or driving for long periods. Whilst standing, try & ensure that your shoulders are upright and tilt your hips slightly forward to ensure the natural curvature of your spine is supported by your posture. If you have a job where you are sitting or standing for long periods, please ensure that you change your position regularly. It may be suggested to speak to your employer to ensure that a Health & Safety at Work Risk Assessment has taken place to ensure you have access to the right equipment to perform your job. Once you have found a comfortable position at bedtime, use extra pillows to support your back, and legs and keep you comfortable during the night. Some people find that a pillow between their knees helps.
  • Exercise has been proven to have benefits to long term back problems, as it can help improve posture, and strengthen the ligaments and muscles which help support the pelvis and spine. Try to engage in low impact types of exercise and start off slowly. Pilates, Yoga, walking and swimming have been shown to assist with flexibility and strengthen your back muscles.
  • Your GP may suggest referral for some manual therapy. This may be Physiotherapy, Chiropractic, Osteopathy or even Acupuncture.
  • Depending on the severity of your long term back problems, and how they respond to treatments/therapies, will depend on the long term outcome. If there are many issues, your GP may refer you to a Specialist Pain Clinic or for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
  • Heat therapy to the painful area has been known to have a soothing affect on pain. Heat can be applied in the form of a hot water bottle (please ensure that this is covered), r a wheat bag that can be heated in the microwave. There are also self heating adhesive patches that can be applied to the skin, and heat rubs. Speak to your local Pharmacist to discuss the options which may be best for you.
  • Massage is also another way to help with long term back issues.

We hope that this has been assistance to you. We have included some links which you may find useful for further reading.

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/back-pain/Pages/Introduction.aspx

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Back-pain/Pages/Treatment.aspx

http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Backpain/Pages/low-back-pain-exercises.aspx

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses  

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