ZocdocAnswersI have lower back pain. What could it be?

Question

I have lower back pain. What could it be?

Ive been having lower back pain for three weeks after playing golf. Doctor gave me a steroid injection and pain meds. Its been two days since the shot but now i have pain on my side hip and pelvic region. I have long commute and drive over 2 hours a day. I asked the doc for a mri but said i gotta wait a month or two. Is this getting worse?

Answer

That is a great question and one that is best answered by your primary care doctor or another medical professional who would be able to perform an appropriate physical examination and history to figure out what the cause of this back pain could potentially be. In general, as we age we can begin to have worsening degenerative changes to our lower spines which are really just wear and tear as we get older. In general, low back pain can be from a large number of causes including degenerative disk disease, obesity, micro-fractures of the lumbar spine related to trauma or obesity, and a host of other causes that are beyond the scope of this discussion. You may consider physical therapy, occupational therapy, steroid injections, TENS units, and chiropracty if suggested by your doctor as nonsurgical measures to assist with your back pain and alleviate the symptoms you are having. If these do not help, your doctor may get an MRI of your back to see whether there is a pathological process occurring that may benefit from surgery. Even if this is the case, nonsurgical measures are still the first line treatment and surgery should only be considered if all else has failed.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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