Lumbar (16.3%) and cervical pain (14.2%) are the most diagnosed pathologies in Spain in people over 16 years of age, only behind arterial hypertension, which heads this ranking, according to the results of the Last European Health Survey in Spain, carried out by the National Institute of Statistics (INE) with data from 2009.

According to the study EPISER of the Spanish Society of Rheumatology (SER), approximately 80% of the population will suffer this type of pain at some point in their lives, being most of the time a benign cause. However, if this ailment is not treated in time or in the right way, this punctual pain can become chronic, explains Dr. Jesús Tornero, SER spokesperson. "Acute back pain lasts less than 6 weeks, whereas chronic low back pain is mentioned when the pain lasts longer than this period."

The bad postures, both at work and in daily life, the sedentary, obesity and some activities -especially labor-in which a great physical effort, are usually the triggers of this type of ailment.

In this sense, and regarding the work environment, the European Health Survey in Spain concludes that the main problematic situations that people find in their work are forced postures or handling of heavy loads (40.9%), followed by pressure or overload at work (39.0%).

Although, in many cases, the origin of cervical or lumbar pain lies in sustained muscular tension, often related to stress or emotional stress, warns the expert.

Physical activity is key to low back pain

People who have suffered some type of back pain improve by resting for three days; after this time it is convenient to start to perform a smooth and progressive physical activity. In these phases local heat should be applied several times a day, massage the posterior area if contractures of the muscles are noticed, and take simple analgesics such as paracetamol, metamizole or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), adds the expert. In addition, the regular practice of rehabilitation exercises and the sport They are also very helpful for these patients.

According to data from the INE survey, one in four adults aged 16 and over did regular physical exercise (in the last seven days), while 34.5% exercised moderately, whether in their work or in leisure activities. Women practice more light activities than men, who do more intense exercise. However, 12% of the population declare not to perform any type of physical activity.

The constancy in carrying out any exercise is the basis for rehabilitation to be successful. For this you must choose a type of exercise that suits and adapts to the personal situation of each one: swimming if you have a swimming pool nearby and you know how to swim reasonably well, an exercise bike if you do not want to go out on the street, and so on.

If specific exercises are performed for the back or neck, they should be done gradually and, if possible, at the beginning with supervision. The exercises should not cause pain if they are well made. If this happens, and you can not be sure that you are doing them right, you should reduce them by half or even stop doing them.

Following the norm "it is better to prevent than to cure", learning to gain weight properly, walking and sitting properly are some of the preventive factors that help prevent back and neck pain. Keep a strong musculature in the back is the best way to get that, if it arrives, the pain passes quickly. On the other hand, "housework can be one of the causes of low back pain. Recommendations include: kneeling or, at least, bending the knees to adjust the bedding, climbing to a height to clean objects that are over the shoulder, distribute the load between both arms after returning from the purchase, and rest one leg on a small platform when ironing. Also, it is advisable to avoid excessively high pillows or sleep without them, while the best sleeping position is on the side or up, "concludes the specialist.

Source: Spanish Society of Rheumatology (SER)

7 Simple Core Exercises That Prevent Lower Back Pain (November 2019).