European University of Lefke (EUL) Faculty of Health Sciences Department of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Academician Expert Physiotherapist Beraat Alptuğ conveyed detailed information on “Effective Treatment Methods in Low Back Pain”
Low Back Pain is an important health problem
Alptuğ said that, “Low back pain is an important health problem that affects the musculoskeletal system and decreases the quality of life of the patients” and added that nearly 80% of individuals experience low back pain at least once in different period of their lives. Alptuğ pointed out that individuals who have low back pain face difficulties in performing functional activities such as walking, standing up, sitting and added that in spite of this, the pain mechanism of 85% of low back pains is still not fully understood.
Alptuğ: Low back pains can be grouped as; acute, subacute and chronic.
Alptuğ stated that, while grouping the low back pains, the span and cause of the symptoms are taken into consideration and added that, “The most common cause of pain come into existence due to mechanic reasons and it is caused by the strain and degeneration of the tissues. This type of low back pain is also called mechanical back pain”. Alptuğ also pointed out that, other than these, radicular low back pains can occur due to compression of nerves with symptoms such as pain in the legs, strength loss, and numbness and added that low back pains can be grouped according to the complaint spans of the patients as; acute (lasts for one month) , subacute (lasts between 1 or 3 months) and chronic (lasts for more than 3 months).
Alptuğ stated that there are various risk factors that cause low back pain and listed some of these factors as;
- Age is one of the most common risk factors for low back pain. The incidence of low back pain is highest in the 30s and this frequency increases to 60-65 years of age.
- There may be an increase in low back pain due to rapid growth in puberty.
- Low back pain is more frequent in women when compared to men.
- Increased body weight is a risk factor for low back pain.
- Exercise programs for the waist area that has insufficient cooling times before and after the exercise may cause waist injuries.
- Psychosocial and emotional state (depression, stress, etc.) may result in a significant increase in back pain.
- Factors such as dissatisfaction with work environment, insufficiency, stresses, etc. can affect the formation of back pain psychosocially.
- The ergonomic design of the work environment (table height, incorrect sitting posture, heavy work conditions, too many forward bending activities) can also cause back pain.
Alptuğ: Daily life activities to reduce back pain are important
Alptuğ emphasized that, the main aim in the treatments of low back pains is reducing the functional limitations and pain of the patient, increasing spinal mobility and developing strategies to combat the patient’s back pain. Alptuğ said that, “In the first phase, medical treatment is used to reduce the patient’s current complaints in both acute and chronic low back pains”. Alptuğ also emphasized the importance of informing the patient and suggesting them daily life activity recommendations for reducing the low back pain and added that surface temperature agents are among the effective methods for reducing acute low back pain.
Alptuğ: Exercise programs should be planned according to the features and preferences of the individuals
Alptuğ said that, “One of the effective methods of coping with low back pain is regular exercises”, and added that regular and appropriate exercises planned by physiotherapists play an important role in reducing pain and ensuring functional return. Alptuğ pointed out that, in addition to exercise programs, electrotherapy approaches have an effective role in reducing low back pain and added that exercise programs should be planned with physiotherapists according to the features and preferences of the individuals.
Alptuğ underlined the importance of including flexibility, strengthening, coordination and endurance exercises to the treatment program over the long term and said that among these exercises, especially swimming can be recommended to the patients with low back pains. Alptuğ finally emphasized that, the aim of low back pain treatments should be improving the quality of life with regular physical activity and added that, “In addition to these, the role of multidisciplinary treatment modalities in reducing back pain is also very important.”