Page 11 - Lincoln 55+ Seniors Paper Summer 2020
P. 11

The Doctor Is In

             Acute Low Back Pain by Dr.          sis
            Anthony Hatcher, DO, FAAFP        • Back pain so severe you can-
             Chief Medical Officer for           not perform simple tasks
           Hillcrest Firethorn, where he      • Back pain does not start to
           manages post-acute and long-          improve within four weeks
           term care patients
             Low back pain is very common     How is back pain treated?
           with more than 80 percent of peo-  Most people with an episode of
           ple having at least one episode of    back pain do not have a seri-
           low back pain during their life-      ous medical problem and can
           time. Although back pain usually      try simple treatments such as:
           does not represent a serious       • Staying active – Studies have
           medical problem and most often        shown that people who stay
           resolves on its own, it can be        active recover faster. If your
           very frustrating when pain inter-     pain is severe you may need to
           feres with daily life.                rest a day or two. It is impor-
             Most back pain is character-        tant to get back to walking and
           ized as nonspecific back pain,        moving as soon as possible.
           which means that the pain is not   • Heat – Some people find that
           clearly caused by a specific dis-     this helps to use a heating pad
           ease, abnormality or serious          or wrap.                           The kids, grandkids and great grand kids of my
           injury. People sometimes refer to  • Over the counter medicines –          1st cousins will all be my 1st cousins. The
           “throwing out” their back, mean-      Generic Ibuprofen (Advil,            only difference is how many generations they
           ing sudden onset pain following       Motrin) or Naprosyn (Aleve)
           physical activity (such as lifting a  work better than Tylenol for         are removed.
           heavy object, shoveling or bend-      back pain. (Check with your        My Kids are second cousins to the Kids of my
           ing). This type of pain most often    provider if you are on blood         cousins.
           represents a strain in one or         thinners, history of GI bleeding,
           more of the muscles in the lower      or ulcers.)                        My grandkids are third cousins to the grand-
           back.                              • Muscle relaxers – Prescribed          kids of my 1st cousins.   Can you pass this test?
             How worried should I be about       by a licensed provider.
           low back pain?                     • Massage
             Do not assume the worst. Low
           back pain can be scary, and        Prevention
           while the pain can be severe, it      The best way to prevent low
           usually goes away on its own       back pain is by staying active.
           within a few weeks. The cases      Doing exercises to strengthen
           that require urgent care or sur-   and stretching  your back can
           gery are rare, but I would recom-  help.
           mend you seek medical care if      • Learn to lift using your legs
           you have back pain and have one       instead of your back.
           of the following:                  • Avoid sitting or standing in the
           • Numbness or weakness in             same position for too long.
             your legs                           Having back pain can be frus-
           • Problems with bowel or blad-     trating and scary. But it can help
             der control                      to know that doing these things
           • Unexplained weight loss          can lower your risk of having
           • Fever or feel sick in other ways  another episode. Stay active and
           • History of cancer or osteoporo-  be healthy!

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