Chronic Back Pain
I am 25 years old and have been struggling with lower back pain for about seven years now. I first noticed it while playing golf competitively when I was 18, and it never went away. I have been to an Orthopedic physician, who could not find anything wrong and sent me to physical therapy. The sharp pain still exists whether I'm standing, walking, running, sitting, etc. Can you help me?
Dr. April Fetzer:
Your low back pain can be caused from an injury to multiple different areas, including muscle, bone, joint, ligament, disc, etc. Frequently, a combination of any of these things, or a biomechanical misalignment can be the source of your pain. While physical therapy is a first line treatment, realize that not all physical therapy programs are the same.
You may benefit from being evaluated by a physiatrist specializing in spine care. Also, an orthopaedic spine specialist may be able to help determine both the cause of your pain, and prescribe a particular type of therapy and/or spine injection to help decrease the pain. Therapy and at-home exercises may help to regain the mobility and strength of your lower back. The exercise program can also be tailored to your specific physical activity requirements. To help aid your recovery your licensed physiatrist will probably encourage you to take an anti-inflammatory medication for pain and inflammation and possibly a muscle relaxer to reduce any potential muscle spasms.
This information is not intended as a substitute for the professional advice of your physician, nor to be a complete description of every aspect of a condition, nor a complete list of possible side effects of any medication. Decisions concerning your treatment should be based on your own health care provider's evaluation of your personal health history and current condition. Consult your physician before following any of the suggestions on this Web site. All articles on this Web site represent the personal opinions of the individual authors and should not be construed as official policy of Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush.