Tygerberg Hospital Celebrates National Physiotherapy Back Week
Tygerberg Hospital’s statistics have shown that people between the ages 30 to 49 are most likely to suffer from back pains and injuries. You only have one back; take care of it. Members of the public are encouraged to visit Tygerberg Hospital during National Physiotherapy Back Week from 2 to 8 September 2019 on the Ground Floor Entrance 1 for educational material on back care. The overall theme for 2019 is Brain Breaks, which means basically think before you act.
According to Tygerberg Hospital’s physiotherapist Fouzia Davids, "one in five physiotherapy referrals are due to back pain." "It is one of the most common reasons people miss work, visit a doctor and a leading cause of disability worldwide,” said Davids.
Fortunately, there are ways to prevent or relief back pain. If prevention fails, there are ways to treat your back by following the correct advice for relief within a few weeks and staying functional as well as preventing surgeries.
Most symptoms of back pain can vary, and include muscle aches, shooting or stabbing pain, referred pain radiating down the leg, worsening pain with bending, lifting, standing or walking, and pain that improves with reclining or extending your back.
You need to see your doctor urgently if after a few weeks you have associated new bladder or bowel problems, fever after an injury, bilateral pins and needles, numbness or accompanied unexplained weight loss.
Risk factors include ageing-associated degeneration, lack of exercise, excess weight, arthritis, improper lifting techniques, psychological conditions and smoking.
Prevention is better than cure. Keep your back healthy and strong by doing regular low impact aerobic exercises or activities, building muscle strength and flexibility of your back and abdominal muscles. Flexibility in your hips and upper legs also helps align your pelvis, which in return helps your back. Maintaining a healthy body weight is as important because when we are overweight, it strains the back. Avoid twisting movements, stand upright and avoid slouching, sit correctly with lumbar support like a rolled-up towel, use your legs when lifting or bending, and hold the object as close to your body especially if it is heavy.