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Sore Backsciatica Numbness Back Hurts Lumbago


Ouch! My Back Hurts: Understanding And Dealing With Low Back Pain

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke states that nearly everyone at some point in their life will have back pain which will interfere with work, everyday activities as well as any leisure activities. It is also stated that back pain is the second most common neurological ailment in the United States whereas headaches is listed as the first common.

If anyone has ever suffered the agonizing experience of having low back pain, then they know the impact of having their quality of life affected. It us one of the most annoying and agonizing discomforts that just seems to present at the most unfortunate times. Rushing and stressful events may trigger this type of injury secondary to neglect and carelessness. I think we have all been there.

Often there is no one event that may be the cause of the low back, it may arise from many different sources such as lifting especially if done improperly, sitting, standing, or walking for a long period. Other precipitating factors may also contribute to low back pain such as a fall or a trip.

The most common area to feel pain is in your lower back since this supports most of your body weight, however it can develop on any part of your back as well. Symptoms of low back pain may come on suddenly or gradually, depending on the source or type of injury. The pain may be in one spot or it may radiate down into your buttocks or legs and it may be describes as a dull, burning or sharp pain.

Treatment for low back pain is usually done conservatively, and will consist of applying ice to the area 4 times daily for 20 minutes for the first 48 hours, then moist heat can be used. Alternating the two may be beneficial as well. Over the counter analgesics may also benefit such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

However, when all this fails it is time to see a health care provider especially if the symptoms are severe and last for more than several days. If other symptoms are present such as pain, tingling or numbness down the legs or if there is difficulty in urination or having a bowel movement then a health care provider evaluation is warranted immediately. The health care provider will determine if any further testing may be required such as an X-ray, a referral to a specialist or if the low back pain can continue to be managed conservatively.

The good news about low back pain is that it will usually resolve, however the bad news is that it can last a couple of days or up to several weeks. As a medical practitioner I encourage people to have patience and not to rush too quickly in trying to recover. I do know that this is easier said than done. I myself have had my share of low back pains and it seems like an eternity to recovery, but I do know that if I tend not to pace myself eternity will turn into forever. As you start to improve be very careful and avoid anything that may aggravate the previous injury. Return to activities slowly as to prevent re-injury.

The best advice is preventative medicine, try to avoid injuring yourself by using proper lifting techniques, walking with good and supportive footwear and most of all think before you act. If an attempt to do something may put you at risk think of an alternative solution. Stay healthy and protect your back, remember it's what supports you.

Resources:

http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/backpain/detail_backpain.htm

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003108.htm

http://www.webmd.com/back-pain/tc/low-back-pain-topic-overview?page=2

By Mag Inzire - Mag is a Physician Assistant working at a local community hospital in NY. Married and a mother of four she takes pride in educating on health and wellness, but also enjoys sharing real life experiences and e...  

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