Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What could lower back pain mean?"
I have been experiencing lower back pain and I'm not sure if it is because of the times when I stand or sit too long, or maybe slouch a lot. I have been searching online to see what are the methods that can be used to release the strain of the lower back, example putting a pillow under my knee when I sleep, but it only works temporarily and stays for a few seconds and my lower back will start aching again. Help?
Low back pain is extremely common and there are many different possible causes. I would suggest that you first schedule an appointment with your primary care physician to further discuss this issue. In young people, low back pain is usually due to some kind of muscle spasm or muscle strain. This often occurs when somebody tries to lift something heavier than what they probably should. Some people are more prone to back strains than others, but sometimes we don't know why. For younger folks that present with this problem, I usually suggest a round of physical therapy so that they can learn the types of exercises that are needed to keep their low back pain in check. This is by far the most important treatment. If you develop low back pain that radiates into one of your two legs, then that is probably something that should be looked into further. This would be the reason to order an MRI at the low back. Radiating pain into legs can mean that you have a pinched nerve or perhaps spinal stenosis. Again, I would suggest that you first schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she will want to perform a detailed physical exam to make sure that you don't have any danger signs. After that, the two of you to discuss the next best step which likely will be physical therapy.
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