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Back Pain

Understand the causes to be able to prevent it

If you suffer from back pain, you are in good company. Back pain, in fact, ranks second after headache in the list of the causes for job absence and the costs for health expenditure. It hits more frequently adults between the ages of 30 and 50, both because of the process of ageing and the sedentary life-style.

What is the origin of back pain?

Back pain can result from sport injuries, heavy workloads, car accidents, excessive stress on the spine and the related muscles, or can be caused by degenerative pathologies such as arthritis, joints or intervertebral disc irritations, osteoporosis. Wrong posture, obesity, stress, a weak muscular structure and smoking are some other common causes of back pain; this, when overlooked, can become chronic and grow to be a partner for life. Our spine supports the weight of the upper part of the body, with the help of intervertebral and deep muscles (abdominal, gluteus, quadratus lumborum, iliopsoas, etc) and tendons which connect vertebras and spine and support it in all its projections. Most cases of back pain (90%) don’t originate from bone pathologies, but from reflected muscular contractures which block normal daily movements.


A system on an unstable balance


Even in case of more or less serious disorders related to the spine (scoliosis, kyphosis, and lordosis, or protrusions or disc injuries, hernia…) and the osteoarticular system (pelvis disorders, worn thigh bones, flat feet…), a good muscular tone can compensate for this situation and keep our structure in a good balance.

Overweight people who do not do physical activity are subject to weakness of the spine muscles; the fact that they cannot keep the back straight facilitates lumbar lordosis, a forward displacement of the abdomen. To recover their balance, people who are subject to lumbar lordosis unconsciously move their spine forward, excessively and painfully contracting the paravertebral muscles; this causes headache and pains in the neck. We have to take care of this typical example of wrong posture behaviours with functional rehabilitation, muscular strengthening, loss of weight because, if overlooked, it can degenerate with time into arthrosis, a pathology there is no cure for.

A correct diagnosis is essential, and possibly this must be performed in a multi-disciplinary way, by a physiatrist, an orthopaedist and a nutritionist. They will determine the structural and physiological causes, and those which are, rather, related to the mind. We cannot forget, actually, that a person’s health is strongly conditioned by the tensions, the level of stress and the possible depressive states he or she feels, as they heavily influence the pain threshold.


A thermal environment might be the most suitable to deal with and to cure chronic pain

A cycle of personalized therapies and treatments based on specific needs acts in a synergic way on the problem, aiming at pain killer, conservative and rehabilitative results. Mud treatments and thermal baths, analgesic, anti-stress and massage treatments, posture exercises, muscular strengthening and hydrokinesitherapy, sometimes combined with weight loss, not only alleviate the pain, but they act on the original causes to reduce the risk of relapses and strengthen the structure to allow a better life quality.


Therapies and rehabilitation in thermal water

Being manipulated is difficult when you are in pain, as you tend to involuntarily contract. On the contrary, thermal water deeply relaxes the muscles both because of its temperature (34-35°C) and the lower tension due to gravity; in this environment a therapist can carry out deeper mobilizations with less pain. In the water movements are 10 times slower, thus there are no risks of sudden movements. In the water it is also possible to rebalance the posture, one of the major causes of back disorders.


Hydrokinesitherapy is the most effective therapy to accelerate and make more steady and safe a post-surgery recovery and a prosthesis implant, and in case of neurological pathologies, ictus and Parkison’s disease. The metabolic spur of thermal water, together with the proper nutritional and movement approach, are the perfect combination to cure pathologies such as osteoporosis, chronic stress, depressive syndromes, excess weight and obesity.

     Recommendations for a healthy back

  • Above all, exercise: keeping your body fit is the best prevention. Ask a professional to guide you: he will recommend the most suitable exercises for muscular flexibility and strengthening, according to your age and specific needs.

  • After a long period of inactivity, starting again step by step is crucial. Start by warming up your body with walks, swimming, or exercise bicycle for about 30 minutes a day to strengthen the muscles without overloading them.

  • Don’t forget stretching, before and after any physical activity: you are never fit enough to make it unnecessary.

  • Correct posture: at home on the sofa or at work, sitting at your desk, pay attention to your shoulders and the arc of your spine, and correct your posture.

  • Sleep on one side; avoid mats which are too soft.

  • If you have to lift heavy weights, bend your knees and use your abs. Don’t charge all the weight on the back.

  • Avoid muscular efforts if they are excessive in relation to your strength.

  • If you are taking care of a sick or invalid person, ask for help when supporting or lifting him/her.

  • We recommend women to avoid heels which are too high.

  • Pay attention to food, avoid increasing your weight because it will tire your lumbar muscles.

  • Give up smoking: smoke influences your blood circulation and is responsible for the degeneration of the vertebral disks.

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