HEALTH | BACK PAIN
Back pain is becoming commonplace especially among the young, working corporates. It may present as a dull muscle ache in the lower or middle section of one’s back or a severe pain.
Sitting for a long time is the biggest risk factor.
“People who sit for long periods of time are prone to back pain because of the strain of being in a fixed, slumped position. Sitting does not only increase pressure on the back muscles, it also makes them weaker,” says Dr Livingston Makanga.
He is a retired sports doctor from the health ministry in Kampala.
“Sleeping on a soft mattress makes one not only have improper back and neck posture, but it also triggers pain in the upper and lower back,” adds Dr Ronnie Musinguzi of Jubilee Medical Centre, Mukono.
“When muscles are not exercised, they become frail and more susceptible to injury. Lack of exercise also increases the risk of obesity which if not checked, puts great strain on the back.”
There are also daily habits that can cause back aches such as driving for long distances, carrying heavy weights, slouching and wearing high heels all the time.
To ease backache, Makanga recommends frequent mobility.
“Move a lot. It does a whole lot of good to the back when you take a break from your work. Take a 15-20 minute walk; do not keep seated all the time. In your free time, you can also swim.”
“Lie on your back with your hips and knees bent. Place a pillow under your legs. That is a safe bet comfortable position for the back.
"Try stretch exercises. Stretching strengthens the core muscles that support the back,” says Andrew Mujuni, a physical fitness expert.
Effective pain relieving medication is also handy.