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What should I do for back pain?

Question:

Since shoveling snow two weeks ago, I have constant low back pain. What should I do for the pain?

Response:

Low back pain is one of the most common reasons for patients seeking medical advice. Most patients can find relief by using simple remedies at home.

Rest: During the initial phase, bed rest may relieve the pain, but should be limited to one or two days.

Medication: Over the counter medications such as ibuprofen (Motrin, etc) or naproxyn (Aleve, etc.) reduce the inflammation and relieve pain.

Talk to your primary care physician if the pain persists despite these measures. They may initially recommend –
Physical Therapy: A physical therapist often uses various techniques to decrease inflammation and will walk you through an exercise regimen to improve muscle strength and mobility. Patients can continue to perform these exercises as part of a home-based program to maintain these benefits over time.

Improvements in Posture: A simple tip to remember for the next time you are shoveling or lifting a heavy package is to use proper lifting techniques emphasizing the thigh and leg muscles, and not the back.

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