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Tips for treating lower back pain

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Tips for treating lower back pain


Low back pain (LBP) is a very common ailment. Two thirds of all people will develop LBP at some point in their lives. It is usually temporary, as in 75 to 90 percent of the pain is resolved in two to four weeks. However in about five percent of patients, the pain becomes chronic.

Watch out for these "red flags" that may signal the need for medical imaging:

• Age over 55
• History of HIV, cancer
• IV drug abuse
• Unexplained fever or weight loss
• Traumatic injury
• Symptoms such as numbness in the groin area or loss of bowel/bladder function

In the absence of these "red flags," and normal vital signs and physical exam, treat patients with medication such as an NSAID (Non-steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drug), like ibuprofen, naproxen, etc.

A muscle relaxant can be added, such as valium or flexeril if there is significant spasm found on the examination. Patients should actually avoid bed rest, as it can worsen the symptoms.

If you decide to transport the patient who is lying on the ground, using a longboard or, even better, a "scoop" stretcher to lift them up and place them on the stretcher may be easier. A "scoop" stretcher that comes apart is good because the patient does not have to stay on the hard surface during transport. At the hospital we can use a sheet to transfer them from your bed to the other.


Comments
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Larry Kahn DC ND Larry Kahn DC ND Wednesday, December 12, 2012 6:22:41 PM maybe seeing a chiropractor would be a good idea.
Ken Laughlin Ken Laughlin Wednesday, December 11, 2013 4:01:22 AM There are other drugs than Flexiril that can be used. Flexiril is known to have cardiac reactions in otherwise healthy patients. My physician took me off of it. Valium?? Toradol may be another therapy as this is in our county protocol. I agree with the bed rest as I as so sore in the AM that I can't straighten up but physical activity relieves relieves the spasms.
Harry A Struppa Harry A Struppa Sunday, January 05, 2014 12:02:20 PM I don't think going for the big drugs immediately is a good idea and you have to watch going to a chiropractor cause usually once you start you cant stop. The best thing to do is to see a pain management specialist. They have further diagnostic tools most other doctors don't such as electrophysiology to check to see what nerves may be involved and to what extent. They can also perform trigger point injections which sometimes means the difference between night and day and yes flexeril will drop your bp and also depending on your body may have significant side effects same as zanaflex and what not but definitely do your homework and really be cautious cause this is your line of business that is dependent on your back and do body mechanics are crucial.