Not too careful: bed rest can increase back pain
The number of people who suffer from back pain every now and then increases and increases. Those affected often tend to take care of themselves. But in most cases this is wrong. Health experts recommend physical activity to patients. Exercise can help with the pain. Bed rest, on the other hand, can increase it.
People's back pain
Back pain has become a real common ailment. Those affected are often advised to hold back better in the event of complaints with physical activities and to go to bed or the hot bath tub. According to health experts, however, it is wrong to take excessive care of back pain. Rather, it is important to strengthen the back through exercise and to alleviate the symptoms.
Complaints can have different causes
Back pain in many cases is not due to a serious illness, it is not always the fault of the cross itself.
Our psyche is often hidden behind the pain.
Lack of exercise, stress and tension are also common triggers for low back pain.
As a rule, those affected should not take too much care. This is pointed out by the German Society for Orthopedics and Trauma Surgery (DGOU) and the Professional Association for Orthopedics and Trauma Surgery (BVOU) in a joint press release.
Back Health Day
DGOU and BVOU are referring to the National Care Guideline for Nonspecific Low Back Pain (NVL) as a version for patients on the occasion of Back Health Day on March 15, 2018.
The patient guidelines inform those affected about how low back pain can be classified and treated from a medical point of view.
“Patients often look for trustworthy sources on the Internet. The patient guidelines provide you with an insight into the medical procedure for back pain. However, the guideline cannot replace the treating physician, ”says DGOU General Secretary Prof. Bernd Kladny.
X-rays are often superfluous
The patient guideline is aimed at people with low back pain, for whom there is no evidence of a dangerous cause or pathologically altered structures as the cause - this is referred to as non-specific back pain.
When low back pain is acute, patients often hope for safety through an X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Imaging diagnostics is initially superfluous for non-specific low back pain.
Nevertheless, experts complain that X-rays are often X-rayed too early and unnecessarily.
"If there is no evidence of dangerous or specific causes of low back pain such as fractures, infections or a herniated disc, symptomatic treatment and exercise help," explains BVOU President Dr. Johannes Fleichenmacher.
“X-rays or MRI scans are of no use in the beginning. A conversation with the patient and a thorough physical exam are much more important. ”
Recommendations in generally understandable language
The patient guideline translates the scientific recommendations of the NVL formulated for physicians into a generally understandable language. There is rarely a serious illness behind non-specific back pain.
In 60 to 85 percent of all cases, the reason for the pain cannot be clearly identified. According to the experts, stress, lack of movement, tense muscles, but also psychological stress can trigger the problems. The pain will go away on its own within a few weeks.
"It is important to keep moving even with back pain," says Dr. Matthias Psczolla, specialist in orthopedics, physical and rehabilitation medicine, manual medicine and special pain therapy.
“Because moderate exercise strengthens the back muscles, lubricates the joints and massages the intervertebral discs. This is important for a healthy back. Muscles, vertebrae, intervertebral discs, joints and ligaments must interact perfectly so that the back can move and function properly. Bed rest, on the other hand, is harmful because it can increase the symptoms. "
The main recommendations of the low back pain patient guidelines:
Restrained diagnostics: In the absence of "red flags" as a warning of a dangerous illness, the use of imaging methods should only be checked if the pain persists for more than four to six weeks.
Exercise instead of bed rest: Doctors should encourage patients to exercise and advise against bed rest. Because if the muscles are spared, they quickly become weak. Any kind of exercise is helpful in recovery.
Painkillers: If low back pain is so severe that those affected take a gentle posture, pain-relieving medication can help. You can provide support so that pain is not perceived as strongly and the important movement is possible.
Pay attention to the psyche and social environment: Already at the first contact with the doctor, stresses in the patient's personal environment, difficulties with the family or at work should be discussed so that the back pain does not become chronic.
Massage, acupuncture & Co .: Massage and acupuncture are procedures that promote passive behavior. Therefore, they should not be used or only in connection with activating measures.
Chronic pain - combined treatment: If lower back pain does not improve after a few weeks, different treatment approaches should be combined. Movement remains a focal point, and psychological therapy options, drug pain treatment and stress management measures can also play a role. (ad)