Long time back pain that is getting worse

Patient

Q: I have been experience back pain for a long time now but now its getting worse the past 3 days the tight side of my neck all the way down my back and my right knee hurts so bad it feels like my entire right side was in a bad fight. I have been appliance a heating pad but don't know if that's good or not . I am not seeing improvement please help

Doctor

A:   In the view that you are a young woman, probably you are experiencing a Mechanical low back pain (LBP), which 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. Fortunately, the LBP resolves for the vast majority within 2-4 weeks with conservative treatment (meaning physical therapy and anti inflammatory medications). Sometimes it may be complicate with a sciatic nerve inflammation and the healing process takes a little longer. The suggested conservative treatment would be: a physical therapy program aimed to: control the pain and the inflammatory process, relative rest, flexion and extension exercises of the spine to reduce the nerve tension, exercises that improve the muscular strength and endurance of abs muscles and stretch the lumbar muscles. Along with the physical therapy, and for better results, you can also try anti inflammatory medication (for example: “Aleve”). If after try all of the above, for at least 4 weeks, you still have severe low back pain, I strongly recommend you to get a consultation with a Orthopedic surgeon to rule out other causes for your back pain.

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