Vim & Vigor - Fall 2018 - University of Virginia - 31

Confi

dent
ial

BACK PAIN
RELIEF: YOU'RE
DOING IT
WRONG

Could It Be
Related to
Something Else?

Other health conditions-or even a
history of them-can sometimes contribute to back pain. For example,
because osteoporosis causes your
bones to weaken or thin, trouble with
your back could be a result.
"If you have osteoporosis with back
pain, it could lead to an osteoporotic
fracture in the spine, so that's something we look for," Buchowski says.
Although rare, cancer can be a cause
of back pain. "A history of cancer
could indicate there's been a metastasis [spreading] in the spine that's
weakened the bone and led to a fracture," he says.

Is It Getting
Better?

This can be a tricky issue,
because for most people, back pain
comes and goes, Kennedy says.
"The severe, crushing pain usually
doesn't last for long while the low-level
nagging pain feels like it lasts forever. At
some point, it's worth getting checked
out just to make sure you're not missing something," he says.
If your pain seems to be related
to activity and improves with rest,
it's more likely to be mechanical
pain, Buchowski says, and he recommends self-treatment options including ibuprofen or acetaminophen, or
core-strengthening exercises and lowimpact aerobic activities, like walking
or swimming, to see if that helps.
"If it's not better in a couple of weeks,
it may be time to see a primary care
doctor or specialist and start physical
therapy," he says. ■

When seeking relief for back pain, some of
the things we do may actually sabotage our
healing. Here are three of the biggest mistakes to avoid.
1. Staying in bed. "Studies have
shown bed rest beyond 24 to 48 hours
is detrimental to recovery," says Jacob
M. Buchowski, MD, spokesman for the
American Academy of Orthopaedic
Surgeons. He recommends slowly getting
back into activity with shorter periods of
rest over time.
2. Having unrealistic expectations.
"In our culture, we expect a quick fix, but
often those quick fixes don't exist when it
comes to pain-back pain or otherwise,"
he says. Try to accept that you're going to
have a few aches and pains as you age while
doing what you can to minimize it.
3. Overdoing it. Because pain may take
time to resolve, don't try to do too much
too quickly. "You can make the problem
worse through over-action and thinking you
can get rid of it in a few days and end up
making it take even longer," he says.

DOWNLOAD

Exercise for a
Healthier Back
Had a bout of back pain?
Conditioning exercises can
help prevent it from returning. Download a PDF of back
exercises from the American
Academy of Orthopaedic
Surgeons and get your back
in shape at orthoinfo.org/
globalassets/pdfs/2017rehab_spine.pdf.

FALL 2018

31


http://www.orthoinfo.org/globalassets/pdfs/2017-rehab_spine.pdf http://www.orthoinfo.org/globalassets/pdfs/2017-rehab_spine.pdf http://www.orthoinfo.org/globalassets/pdfs/2017-rehab_spine.pdf

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vim & Vigor - Fall 2018 - University of Virginia

Contents
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2018 - University of Virginia - Cover1
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2018 - University of Virginia - Cover2
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2018 - University of Virginia - Contents
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2018 - University of Virginia - 2
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2018 - University of Virginia - 3
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2018 - University of Virginia - 4
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Vim & Vigor - Fall 2018 - University of Virginia - Cover3
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