Yes, show me someone who has not experienced waist or low back pain, then I will show you a man who has not experienced temporary impotence.
This reminds me, my email is bursting at the seems, three weeks after discussing “sexual decline as we age”. One was even from a Bishop, yes, most of them wanted me to discuss sexual decline with named illnesses like diabetes, hypertension, prostrate enlargement etc. Let us discuss “sexual decline II” next week.
We all experience waist or low back pain, temporarily, regularly or persistently, with various degrees of incapacitation. A reader from Ibadan had asked me if waist pain was hereditary, because his father and grandfather both walked with a stooping gait while alive. Now at 53, he is beginning to notice a slight stooping in his gait due to low back pain.
Do you know that even as I write I am also experiencing a persistent low back pain. It started three days ago. This necessitated my going back to the Sun archives to re-read about seven articles, I had written since 2003 on waist and low back pain.
Low back pain is not hereditary, but everybody experiences it. Only varies in degree and frequency. We call it waist or low back pain if it occurs in the lumbosacral region, or upper back pain if it occurs higher
Please understand this medical fact, “low back pain is like haemorrhoid(pile), it gets worse when you are constipated”. So if you are experiencing low back pain now, the first step is to take mild laxatives to empty your bowel, the relief is almost instantaneous.
What is low back pain?
Low back pain affects 80% of Nigerians, at some point in their life time. Low back pain is not a specific disease, rather it is a symptom that may occur from a variety of different processes in up to 85% of people with low back pain.
• Surprisingly despite thorough medical examination, no specific cause of the pain can be identified. That is if it is physiological and not due to trauma.
What causes low back pain?
1. Often no specific cause will be found, and the pain will stop.
2. Most low back pains are associated with nerve root irritation, the symptoms eventually improves within two months, no matter what treatment is given.
3. Other causes include diseases or injuries on the muscles, bones or nerves of the spine.
What are signs and symptoms of low back pain?
1. Usually there is pain at the lumbosacral region(lower part of the back).
2. Pain may radiate down the front, side or back of your leg, or it may be confined to the lower back.
3. Pain may become worse with inactivity.
4. Occasionally, the pain may be worse at night or with prolonged sitting, such as on a long car trip or driving.
5. You may have numbness or weakness in the part of the leg that receives it’s nerve supply from a compressed nerve.
When to consult a doctor?
You should see your doctor for low back pain treatment if;
• Recent trauma – a fall from a height or vehicle accident.
• Recent fall, for those above 50 – a fall from a staircase, slipping and landing on your buttocks.
• History of prolonged steroid use – people with asthma, rheumatoid disorder etc.
• History of osteoporosis, elderly woman with a history of hip fracture.
• Prior history of cancer.
• History of recent infection.
• Any temperature greater than 38*C, associated with low back pain.
• Intravenous drug use with low back pain.
• Any low back pain, that is worse after rest.
• Unexplained weight loss associated with low back pain.
Treatment of low back pain.
1. Sleep with a pillow between your legs, while lying on one side.
2. Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs(NSAID) – ibuprofen, aspirin, ketoprofen, advil, nuprin, motrin, naproxen.
3. Acetaminophen – Tylenol.
4. Neurogenic balms – deep heat, etc could help.
5. Ice packs, infra red as guided by a Physiotherapist.
6. Bed rest not exceeding 48 hours.
7. Cox2 inhibitors eg celecoxib(celebrex).
8. Muscle relaxants prescribed by a doctor.
9. Surgery is seldom considered – let your doctor decide.
Always be medically guided.
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