ZocdocAnswersShould I be worried about the pain in my lower back?

Question

Should I be worried about the pain in my lower back?

I'm a healthy 28 year old male and work for a shipping company, lugging boxes all day. Recently, I'll get sharp pains in my lower back for a split second, then their gone. Should I get this checked out or is just a muscle spasm or something?

Answer

Your back pain may be an injury to a muscle (strain) or a ligament (sprain). Strain and sprain can occur from poor posture, excess body weight, and improper lifting which is in your case a result of your lugging boxes all day long. Pain generally occurs in episodes. From your description of your condition, I think you likely have muscle and ligament injuries. However, if your spine becomes overly strained, a disc may rupture or bulge outward (known as a herniated disc). Do you have numbness or pain extending down your leg? If you do, then you may have a herniated disc. Such serious complication of a ruptured disc occurs when disc material is pushed into a spinal canal and a disc between the two bones in the space presses on the nerves around the backbone, which may lead to permanent neurological damage if left untreated. Lower back pain may last briefly or it may be chronic. If your back pain does not go away within a few days, I would recommend a visit to a primary care doctor to be examined to rule out any serious complications and a possible referral to an orthopedist for further work-up and treatment. I hope you find the information helpful. Good luck.

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