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What treatment do you suggest for long lasting lower back pain?

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Practicing since : 2002
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for the last 6 years I have had terrible lower back pain on and off........last time I couldnt walk for over a week. I went to the doctor and they gave me a shot of cortizone which helped. This time my back went out and I have bruising 4 inches wide from my tail bone up to the middle of my back. My back is very stiff but not extremly painful like it was for the last 5 days.......any ideas as to what would cause this.......I havent fallen or been kicked or anything that would explain the bruising. When my back goes out I have trouble holding things or walking as sometimes my legs just dont work.....I am 32
Posted Sun, 22 Apr 2012 in Back Pain
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 49 minutes later
Hello and thanks for your query.

I am sorry to hear that you are dealing with this pain which is obviously at times disabling. I assume you have at least had some xrays done to this point. I have a few thoughts here which you could discuss with your primary physician.

Back pain can be a complex issue with multiple contributing factors including inflammation, muscle spasm and nerve compression. In your case I suspect a combination of these things is going on.

In order to further and definitively assess this I think you need an MRI of the spine which will display the anatomy of the bones and soft tissue as well as the nerves which originate from the spinal cord. These nerves can sometimes become pinched by herniated or bulging discs. The MRI will really potentially yield alot of information and perhaps a point of focus to direct future therapy.

Now, as for the bruising in the low back - could be related to inflammation in the back and also possibly to a tiny blood vessel which broke open and leaked. This can create a bruising which you seem to have experienced.

I recommend you start an aggressive regimen involving anti-inflammatory medication, muscle relaxants and some physical therapy. For anti-inflammatory I recommend advil or ibuprofen - 600 mg three times per day for 10 days. For muscle relaxant you will need a prescription and I think flexeril is a good choice taken up to three times per day. Finally, a course of prednisone tablets taken by mouth over 7 to 10 days may provide benefit as well. As for physical therapy I suggest you visit with a professional therapist and start a regimen of flexebility and strength training for the next few months.

If all of this fails you may need to get an opinion of a surgeon to see if they recommend any procedure which could provide you a durable benefit.

I thank you again for your query. I hope you found my answer to be both helpful and informative. Should you have additional concerns I would be happy to address them.


Dr. Galamaga
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What treatment do you suggest for long lasting lower back pain? 1 hour later
I was afraid of that hahaha. I have not had any xrays so I guess its off to the doctor I go. Thank you for your help. And yes my muscles do spasm and when sitting I feel like I have to pee. The bruising looks to be very XXXXXXX Again thank you for your in depth answer
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 20 hours later
You are very welcome. Thank you again for turning to WWW.WWWW.WW for your healthcare needs.

I wish you all the best and continued good health.

Dr. Galamaga
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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