Patient: I have recently started having lower back pain. It started about 2 weeks ago and has been constant. I can’t place anything that would cause it. The pain is at about 7 out of 10 at its worst and 3 out of 10 at its best. What could be the cause of this?
Doctor: Mechanical low back pain (LBP) is the second most common reason for seeing a physician in the United States. Of the US p opulation, 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.The suggested strategy 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 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 can increase overall fitness without straining the low back. Standing: 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. 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.