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Lower back pain, calcium, vitamin B1 and vitamin D normal, no tumor, stiffness, am physically active

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 1015 Questions
I have had occasional lower back pain since 15 years now. For the first ten years it was once or twice a year affair, when I suddenly felt my lower back becoming stiff and the pain followed quickly. It always used to be unbearable, the pain used to travel from my lower back to my legs. I went to the doctor and I was told it's not serious as long as I could bend without much of pain and I could always bend well during the examinations by the doctors. I kept going on with the occasional pain.

Five years back the it became more common I started having back pain issue every three months, once again I was told that its not a serious issue and I was asked to keep going and I was told to do regular back exercises.

It's in last three years that it has become chronic, there is not a single day in my life since last one and half year when I don't experience either the lower back pain or more likely lower back stiffness. I do stretches and i only find temporary relief from stiffness usually it comes back in few hours after the stretches. It does not matter whether I am sitting on the desk whole day or walking whole day I always get stiffness. The only time I did not get the stiffness was last year for three days when I was tracking on the mountain with ten kilo bag on my back, that surprised me.

In last three years I have also experiences the back pain in my upper back, which is smilier kind and spreads to my legs sometime. On few occasion the upper back pain has been so severe that it would hurt if I laughed and it would hurt while breathing. Once I had a very strange kind of upper back pain, usually my back pain is in the spine area but that time it was in the area around my upper spine, the area below the shoulder. These muscles were paining badly for few days.

I am physically active person, at least four times a week I either do yoga or cycling or walking, the back pain has been under control thanks to the exercises but it's not going away.

Dear Doctor,
To tell you the truth, I am not happy with the response and answers I get from the doctors in India, I feel I am not heard by them, i feel that what I have to say about my problem is not important to them, they make me feel that they anyway know whats wrong with me even if i don't speak and many time i am given calcium tablet etc. I went to get my calcium check and it was normal.

Just for your information my calcium, vitamin b1 and vitamin D is normal, i have had the body scan done and there is no tumor or cancer etc. I don't have any other chronic disease.

Sometime I feel that the back pain has something to do with my stress level, it becomes more stiff if I am stressed.

I will be very thankful if you can go through my reports and help me find a cure or specialist doctor for further investigation. I really want to go to the root of my problem just to know what's wrong with me and whether there is cure or i need to learn pain management. The biggest problem right now is that I don't even know whats really wrong with me (the doctors here have not shown interest to educate me about my own problem).

Posted Tue, 10 Jul 2012 in Back Pain
Answered by Dr. Ashwini Kolur 5 hours later
Thanks for your query.

I will try my best to provide you with best possible professional recommendations to your questions.

It will nice if you mention about your work, i would like to know whether you sit a lot while working and the posture. As the bad posture may be responsible for chronic back ache.

Initial treatment of low back pain is based on the assumption that the pain in about 90% of people will go away on its own in about a month. This might be the reason that you have felt that most of the doctor are not listening to you.

Exercise is useful for people with chronic back pain to help them return to normal activities and work. These exercises usually involve stretching maneuvers. I advice you to see physiotherapist they will teach you the exercises that will help you.

Sleeping with a pillow between the knees while lying on one side may increase comfort.

As you have mentioned it is chronic problem it is better to rule out sciatica as it may be responsible.

I advice you first to consult the physiotherapist for exercise and if it does not improve see orthopedic surgeon to rule out sciatica and other causes.

Yet again, I do hope that you have found something helpful and I will be glad to answer any further query.

Hope i have cleared your queries. If you do not have any clarifications, you can close the discussion and rate the answer

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