Patient: I was putting on my socks this morning and felt something pop in my lower back. I now have severe shooting pains in my back, espceially when trying to walk. not much pain sitting down or laying down. Did I injury a disk?
Doctor: The pain in the low back is a common concern, and it affects roughly up to 90% of Americans at some point in their lifet ime. According with the medical literature, up to 50% will have more than one episode. Back pain is not a specific disease but it is a symptom that may happen from a wide array of different processes. In up to 85% of people with back pain, despite a thorough medical examination and imaging tests (X rays, MRI, CT scans), no specific cause of the pain can be identified and we call it: mechanical back pain.The suggested strategy should be: start a physical therapy program aimed to control pain, stretching and strengthening exercises, correct posture, and teach you an exercise routine that you can follow at home, also the use of anti-inflammatory drugs (i.e.: “motrin”, “advil”, “aleve”) can be beneficial to manage the pain. Nearly everyone improves within a month following these conservative measures if it is a mechanical back pain. Otherwise, if the back pain persists for more than 1 month, the evaluation by a physician to rule out other possible causes than just mechanic or postural is recommended.