A backache is pain and stiffness in the back. The middle or lower back is the most common area to have pain. Backaches are most common during adolescence.
With a backache:
Backaches are usually caused by straining some of the 200 muscles in the back that allow us to stand upright. Often the strain is caused by carrying something too heavy (such as schoolbags), lifting from an awkward position, or overexertion of back muscles (for example, from digging).
Spondylolysis, or a stress fracture, may cause lower back pain in teens. Stress fractures may happen in sports such as gymnastics and football. Pain is usually mild and may spread to the buttocks and legs. It feels worse with activity and better with rest. With a stress fracture, you may notice that you tend to walk stiff-legged and with a shorter stride than usual.
The pain and discomfort are usually gone in 1 to 2 weeks. However, it is common to have backaches many times, depending on your activities and health.
Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Continue this until 24 hours have passed without any pain. This medicine is the most important part of the therapy because back pain causes muscle spasm and these medicines can greatly reduce both the spasm and the pain.
During the first 2 days, massage the sore muscles with a cold pack or ice pack for 20 minutes 4 times per day. To avoid frostbite, do not leave the cold packs on too long.
After 2 days, put a heating pad or hot water bottle on the most painful area for 20 minutes to relieve muscle spasm. Do this whenever the pain flares up.
The most comfortable sleeping position is usually on your side with your knees bent. The mattress should be firm if possible.
Avoid lifting, jumping, horseback riding, motorcycle riding, and exercise until you are completely well. Complete bed rest is unnecessary.
The best way to prevent future backaches is to keep your back muscles in good physical condition. This will require 5 minutes of back and abdominal exercises every day.
Helpful exercises are:
Repeat the same stretch on your other leg.
Do not do the strengthening exercises until the back pain is gone. You should also try to be physically active for at least 30 minutes every day.
Also, learn how to properly lift heavy objects:
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