Episodes of low back pain since 10 years old


Q: When I was about ten years old I put my back out trying to do a handstand in gym class. since then i have had frequent back pain, slowly it has been getting worse. I am 27 now and last fall it was so bad I couldn't walk. I went to a local clinic and he poked at my lower back and butt cheeks and said it was a torn tendon. prescribed me anti inflammatory, a pain reliever and a muscle relaxer. i took all 3 as directed but didn't like the dead feeling, I narrowed it down to just the muscle relaxers and within two weeks i felt as if it never happened, I was feeling great for a few months and now it has slowly been hurting more and more, i don't want to get to the point that i cant walk again and the pain shoots down my leg. when it gets that bad I have a hard time holding my stools for very long at all, i frequently have to stop at local gas stations. I don't want to live like this anymore. I don't know what to do. I have done lots, done isometric exercises for months to strengthen my core muscles and correct posture, have lost weight, i lift with my knees and stretch often.


A:   Chronic low back pain (LBP) is the most expensive benign condition in industrialized countries and the most common cause of activity limitation in persons younger than 45 years. It is defined as pain that persists longer than 12 weeks and is often attributed to degenerative or traumatic conditions of the spine. Mechanical or activity-related spinal pain is most often aggravated by static loading of the spine (prolonged sitting or standing), long-lever activities (vacuuming or working with the arms elevated and away from the body), and levered postures (forward bending of the lumbar spine). Pain is reduced when walking or constantly changing positions, and when the spine is unloaded (reclining). However, a persistent, relenting pain requires further investigation, as follows: evaluation by a physician, imaging studies (MRI, CT scan) and sometimes even functional studies as electromyography.
Your case may be managed as chronic low back pain (LBP), you might benefit of Physical Therapy and anti-inflammatory medication (“Aleve”, “Motrin”). Some antidepressants are useful in chronic LBP to alleviate insomnia, and pain In addition, these medications may improve the patient's ability to cope, and they may reduce depression, anxiety, or fatigue associated with chronic LBP. Local anesthetics, corticosteroids, or other substances may be directly injected into painful soft tissues, facet joints, nerve roots, or epidural spaces.

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