Low back pain for months

Patient

Q: I have been having low back pain in the middle of my spine and reaching out on the left and right sides. I have been seeing a doctor for 2 months and going to physical therapy. My MRI says preservation of disc space signal intesity and disc space height. what does this mean?

Doctor

A:   This means basically, that you do not have any problems with your discs, so in the view that your MRI came out normal, we should consider the possibility that you most likely have 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, but this time depends on each particular person. The suggested strategy in your case would be: a physical therapy program aimed to: teach you 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. Just following these easy recommendations you will decrease the chances to have episodes of low back pain.

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