Patient: I have a very sharp pain in the right side of my back. It is not constant but comes in waves.Any idea what could be wrong with me?
Doctor: In the view of your young age, with no history of spine problems , most likely you are experiencing a Mechanical low bac k pain (LBP) . Mechanical low back pain is the second most common reason for seeing a physician in the United States. Of the US population, 85% will experience an episode of mechanical LBP at some point during their lifetime. The LBP tends to resolve within some weeks if you follow these conservative measures: a physical therapy program aimed to control the pain and the inflammatory process and teach you flexion and extension exercises of the spine to reduce the nerve tension, these exercises will improve the muscular strength and endurance of your lumbar muscles. Also is very important to keep a good posture at all times and practice low-impact activities such as swimming, walking, and bicycling, these can increase overall fitness without straining your low back. While standing, keep your head up and stomach pulled in. If you are required to stand for long periods of time, you should have a small stool on which to rest one foot at a time. Do not wear high heels and keep your weight under control. The use of anti-inflammatory medication (i.e.: “motrin”, “advil”, “aleve”) can be beneficial to manage the pain if you are not lactating. 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 2 months, in despite of the above mentioned measures, the evaluation by a physician to rule out other possible causes than just mechanic or postural is recommended.