September 3, 2012
If you've been feeling some pain in the lower part of your body, you're not alone. In this week's What's Going Around we’re focusing on lower back pain caused by sprains, strains, and sciatica.
Our medical information is coming to us from Dr. Laura Howard of Palmyra Medical Associates.
Symptoms include pain in the spine or muscles of the lower back, pain that radiates from the back into the buttocks, thigh, or leg, numbness or tingling in the extremities, spasms, and pain with movement or usual activities.
Symptoms can last a few days or months depending on the specific diagnosis.
You're more at risk for lower back pain if you're obese, do manual labor, heavy lifting or have a history of injuries or arthritis.
Treatment is broken down in three categories. Dr. Howard says in mild cases rest, stretching, heat or ice, and anti-inflammatories work best. For moderate cases, physical therapy may be helpful. In severe cases of a slipped disk or pinched nerve, Howard recommends physical therapy, steroid shots or nerve blocks.
When it comes to prevention, Dr. Howard says you can do a few things like using the proper technique when lifting, maintain healthy weight and participate in exercises like yoga or pilates.