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Lower Back Pain

An increasingly common problem for individuals, lower back pain is believed to affect around 80 per cent of people at some time in their life. For the lucky it perhaps occurs once and goes away never to reappear. For others it’s a persistent problem that becomes extremely debilitating at time or, worse, starts affecting their everyday life, forcing them to make choices they wouldn’t otherwise. Depending on the cause and area of the pain treatment could involve stretches, pain management, referral to a doctor etc.

How to tell if you have lower back pain

You experience:

  • Non-specific pain because poor posture is putting strain on joints and muscles
  • Pain after lifting or carrying a heavy object. In this instance the disc has become separated from the vertebrae. Damage can range from a small strain (annular) to a prolapsed disc which can cause nerve irritation in the leg (sciatica). Tests, including those with an MRI and Xray can help identify the difficulty.
  • Muscle spasms – which are painful and restrictive

Growing Pains

Affecting up to 45 per cent of youngsters, growing pains tend to
hit between the ages of seven and 12. They are caused by the muscles
and not the bones. One hypothesis is that during a ‘growth spurt’,
a child bones grow rapidly. The muscles which surround these bones
struggle to keep up with the speed of the bone growth and therefore,
as they are stretched, become very tight. They pull on their
attachments via their tendons, which can be very painful, and can
sometimes result in conditions such as Osgood Schlatters.  Growing
pains tend to make themselves known after a day of heavy exertion.

Although they are fairly common and can be painful and distressing, growing pains will not cause long-term damage.

 

How to recognise growing pains:

  •  Cramp-like pain
  • The calves and thighs are most commonly affected
  • The pain occurs after a lot of running around or a busy day
  • knees

      Arthritis

      Caused by the joints being over used (ie wear and tear), the cartilage rubs away so that bone ends up rubbing against bone and forming osteophytes (new bone-like growth). It results in pain and inflamed joints. Movement is restricted to the point it can prove extremely debilitating.

      How to tell if you have arthritis

      You experience:

      • Stiffness first thing in the morning
      • Pain (is osteoarthritis is involved)
      • The joints feel hot and swell up