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Aleksandra Frye
Aleksandra Frye,
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 223
Experience:  Physician at Workwell Medical Group
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I have had occasional lower back pain off and on for a few

Customer Question

I have had occasional lower back pain off and on for a few months now. Moreso right above my hip bones inward towards my spine. What could be causing this?
JA: Have you had any recent injuries? What seems to make the pain better or worse?
Customer: I have not. I am 44 years old, have always been a non-smoker, two boys (C-sections both times), and have been very healthy my entire life.
JA: Anything else in your medical history you think the doctor should know?
Customer: No I don't think so. Nothing out of the ordinary. Could sleep patterns affect this? I have not gained/lost any significant weight. Have regular periods every month. No loss of appetite.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Aleksandra Frye replied 8 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** I am Board Certified with 17 years of experience, and I will do my best to help you today. To make sure I don’t miss anything, please give me a minute to review your question. :)

Expert:  Aleksandra Frye replied 8 months ago.

Sorry to hear about your problem, what seems to make it worse or better? When you press on the area, does it hurt or do you feel any hard areas? Anything else you can think of that could have contributed to this pain?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Ibuprofin makes it better. There are no hard areas and no pain when I press the area.
Expert:  Aleksandra Frye replied 8 months ago.

Thank you, ***** ***** like you have developed some inflammation in the muscles on the lower back, which unfortunately is very common and it can happen for a lot of different reasons, sometimes we don't even notice it.

A series of muscles and ligaments in your back hold the bones of your spinal column in place. You can strain these muscles by stretching them too far, causing tiny tears in the tissue. The muscles are then weakened, so they may not be able to hold the bones of your spinal column in place correctly. The spine becomes less stable, causing low back pain.

And because nerves stretch out from the spinal cord throughout the entire body, low back strain can cause pain in areas other than your back.

Low back strain can be caused by:

  • Extreme physical exertion.
  • Falling.
  • Bending or crouching repeatedly.
  • Lifting heavy objects if you are not in shape.

It can also be caused by emotional stress, improper posture, being overweight, out of shape, or sitting in the same position for long periods of time. Even a severe cough can result in low back strain.

Keep in mind that low back strain can't be blamed for all back pain. There are many other causes, like slipped discs, fractures, pinched nerves, arthritis, and infections.

Expert:  Aleksandra Frye replied 8 months ago.

Low back strain can be a painful and depressing injury. But the good news is that most cases heal on their own, given time. To speed the healing, you should:

  • Ice your back to reduce pain and swelling as soon as you injure yourself. Do it for 20-30 minutes every 3-4 hours for 2-3 days. You can also ice your back after physical activity.
  • Apply heat to your back -- but only after 2-3 days of icing it first.Use heat on your back only after the initial swelling has gone down. You could use an electric heating pad or a hot water bottle. Or you could just soak in a hot bath.
  • Take painkillers or other drugs, if recommended by your doctor. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like Advil, Aleve, or Motrin, will help with lower back pain and swelling. However, these drugs may have side effects. They should be used only occasionally, unless your doctor specifically says otherwise. Prescription painkillers and muscle relaxants are sometimes necessary.
  • Use support. Ask your doctor or therapist first, but consider getting a belt or girdle to add support to your back. Use it only short-term or for support with heavy or repetitive lifting.
  • Get physical therapy to build up strength, if your doctor recommends it. Do not stay in bed or on the couch all day. That will make it worse.
  • Maintain good muscle tone in your abdominal and lower back muscles.

No matter what people tell you, bed rest doesn't work. People used to think that the best treatment for low back strain was to lie on your back until you felt better. But studies show it doesn't help. In fact, after taking it easy for a day or two, you should usually start light physical activity.

Recovery time depends on how serious your low back strain is. Mild cases may resolve in a couple of days. It can take many weeks for more serious strains. Remember that everyone heals at a different rate.

Once the back pain is gone, your doctor will probably want you to start a regular exercise routine. This will get your back muscles stronger and more limber. It will help you recover, and reduce your odds of low back strain in the future. Your doctor will probably want you to take up low impact sports, like swimming or using a stationary bike.

Whatever you do, don't rush things. Don't try to return to your previous level of physical activity until:

  • You can move as easily -- without stiffness -- as you did before your injury.
  • You feel no pain when you bend, twist, walk, run, and jump.

If you start pushing yourself before your low back strain is healed, you could end up with chronic back pain and permanent injury.

Stretching will help and you can also continue Ibuprofen (or Aleve) with some food.

Please let me know if I can further assist you and if you are satisfied with my answer, please give a 5 star rating (we do not get reimbursed without a positive rating). If not, I am happy to answer your question further! Thank you so very much and see you again soon! For future questions you may contact me at this web site: http://www.justanswer.com/medical/expert-dr-frye/

Expert:  Aleksandra Frye replied 7 months ago.

Hello, this is Dr. Frye from Just Answers and I am wondering if you still needs help with your question? Thank you very much!