x Health Men's Health Children's Health Nutrition and Wellness Reproductive Health Health & Science Digital News Videos Opinions Cartoons Education E-Paper Lifestyle & Entertainment Nairobian Entertainment Eve Woman Travelog TV Stations KTN Home KTN News BTV KTN Farmers TV Radio Stations Radio Maisha Spice FM Vybez Radio Enterprise BULK SMS E-Learning Digger Classified The Standard Group Corporate Contact Us Rate Card Vacancies DCX O.M Portal Corporate Email RMS
Login ×
BTV
VAS
DCX
RMS

Dealing with low back pain

Health & Science - By -Dr Kizito Lubano | November 20th 2012 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300

Dr Kizito Lubano

Low back pain can happen anywhere below the ribs and above the legs. The lower back is the connection between the upper and lower body, and it bears most of the body’s weight. So, it’s pretty easy to hurt your back when you lift, reach, or twist. In fact, almost everyone has low back pain at one time or another.

Symptoms:

Depending on the cause, low back pain can cause a range of symptoms. The pain may be dull or sharp. It may be in one small area or over a broad area. You may have muscle spasms. Low back pain can also cause leg symptoms, such as pain, numbness, or tingling, often extending below the knee.

A rare but serious problem called cauda equina syndrome can occur if the nerves at the end of the spinal cord are squeezed. Seek emergency treatment if you have weakness or numbness in both legs or you lose bladder or bowel control.

Most low back pain is short-term (acute) and will go away in a few weeks. It is more likely to become long lasting (chronic) if you are depressed or under stress.

Diagnosis

The doctor will ask questions about your past health, symptoms, and activities. He or she will also do a physical exam. Your answers and the exam can help the doctor rule out a serious cause for the pain. In most cases, doctors are able to recommend treatment after the first exam. X-rays, computed tomography scans, and magnetic resonance imaging don’t usually help.

But if you have a back pain problem that has lasted longer than four weeks, or if your doctor thinks you may have more than muscle pain, it might be time for one of these tests.

How is it treated?

Most low back pain will improve with basic first aid, which includes resting for a day or two, getting up and active as soon as possible, and taking over-the-counter pain medicine as needed.

Walking is the simplest and maybe the best exercise for the lower back. It gets your blood moving and helps your muscles stay strong.

A doctor or physical therapist can recommend specific exercises to help your back muscles get stronger. These may include a series of simple exercises called core stabilisation. Strengthening the muscles in your trunk can improve your posture, keep your body in better balance, and lower your chance of injury.

Certain other treatments work for some people but not for others. You may need to try different things to see which work best for you, such as:

• Massage

• Spinal manipulation

• Acupuncture

If your symptoms are severe, or you still have them after two weeks of self-care, see your doctor. You may need stronger pain medicines, or you might benefit from physical therapy.

Top Stories

Artificial melanin: New-age hair dye
Health & Science - By Killiad Sinide


When a simple stretch can break your bones
Health & Science - By Mactilda Mbenywe


Health ministry sets eyes on vaccine as Covid-19 numbers up by 302
Health & Science - By Jael Mboga


Why Kenya is worst place to be as child with cancer
Health & Science - By Gatonye Gathura


How Covid-19 destroys the lung
Health & Science - By Graham Kajilwa


Blow for Kenyan doctors as court dismiss case to stop foreign doctors
Health & Science - By Paul Ogemba


Report: Aids kills 57 people a day
Health & Science - By Dominic Omondi


Firms apply for corona vaccine rollout permit
Health & Science - By AFP


Woman gives birth to a baby with coronavirus antibodies
Health & Science - By Reuters and Mercy Kahenda


Africa not ready for vaccine, says WHO
Health & Science - By AFP


Latest Stories

Report: Aids kills 57 people a day
Health & Science - By Dominic Omondi


Women bear the biggest Aids burden
Health & Science - By Mercy Adhiambo


Malaria death toll to exceed Covid-19's in sub-Saharan Africa: WHO
Health & Science - By Reuters


New coronavirus symptom as doctors warn 'strange sensation in nose' could be early sign
Health & Science - By Mirror


Shock as teens, young adults top new HIV infections
Health & Science - By Augustine Oduor


Covid-19: Kenya records 551 new infections, five deaths
Health & Science - By Vincent Kejitan


CDC Panel meets today to vote on who gets Covid-19 vaccine first
Health & Science - By Mercy Asamba


Gout, the ‘mature-people’ disease that is now creeping to the young
Health & Science - By Graham Kajilwa


Artificial melanin: New-age hair dye
Health & Science - By Killiad Sinide


Firms apply for corona vaccine rollout permit
Health & Science - By AFP


//

Stay Ahead!

Access premium content only available
to our subscribers.

Support independent journalism
×
Log in
Support independent journalism
Create an account    Forgot Password
Create An Account
Support independent journalism
I have an account Log in
Reset Password
Support independent journalism
Log in