Tight spinal muscles with shoulder and arm pain

Patient

Q: Muscle pain started in my lower back then went up both sides of my spine now it is in my neck and shoulders and upper left arm, occured over many weeks?????

Doctor

A:    Probably you are experiencing a Mechanical back pain   . Mechanical 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 BP at some point during their lifetime. The mechanical BP 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, which is the responsible for the pain and discomfort; these exercises will improve the muscular strength and endurance of your spinal 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 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. Keep your weight under control. The use of anti-inflammatory medication (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 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.

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