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Lower back pain, over weight. What should be done for it?

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Practicing since : 2002
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i am 36 yr old weighing around 94 Kgs & measuring 5 feet 11 inches, once in a while i keep getting lower back ache. My waist size is 38 inches, I work for 40 hrs per week & drive almost 3 hrs per day. What should i do?
Posted Mon, 21 May 2012 in Weight & Lifestyle
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 2 hours later
Hello and thank you for submitting your question.

Your question is a good one and I will work I'm providing you with some information and recommendations regarding what is going on.

Low back pain can be caused by a number of different things. The most common cost would be musculoskeletal back pain. Other things which can cause back pain include kidney stones or sometimes problems with the intestines. I think in your case it is most likely that your symptoms are related to a musculoskeletal clause.

A number of different things can contribute to the type of pain which you are experiencing. Sometimes it may be related to your posture or to the strength of your abdominal muscles. It is important that when you exercise you focus part of your routine on strengthening your core muscles which includes your abdominal muscles. This will certainly help improve your posture as well.

If the pain you are having does not radiate into your lower legs then it is most likely that you do not have a problem with the soft tissue of your spine. We refer to these soft tissues as discs. These discs cushion the area between the bones of the spine. sometimes they can swell or herniated and that can create significant back pain. This is typically associated with shooting pains which radiate into the lower extremities.

Medications generally only mask the symptoms and we want to try something that will actually address the underlying cause of your symptoms. I would suggest a regimen of physical therapy for you. This can be done informally with a physical therapist or you can do some research online and look for websites which focus on describing exercises that help to strengthen the muscles of the low back. I think a daily routine of exercises which focused on this area in addition to a regimen of stretching exercises will provide a benefit for you. It will take several weeks or possibly even months before you see a major difference. However I think this is the best avenue for you to follow to help address your pain at this point.

If for some reason beyond a few months you still have symptoms then it might be beneficial for you to seek the advice and consultation of an orthopedic specialist. Sometimes MRI technology can help us to evaluate the anatomy of the back when symptoms do not respond to typical therapies. I don't think you need this type of consultation right now it is just something I want you to have to think about if your symptoms do not improve with exercises and stretching.

Medications such as muscle relaxers and ibuprofen can relieve some of the symptoms but again they are only masking what needs to be addressed definitively.

If you have health insurance and it covers physical therapy I think that would be the best avenue for you to follow initially.

I thank you again for submitting your question. I hope you found my response to be helpful and informative. If you have any additional concerns I would be happy to address them.


Dr. Robert
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