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Many mistakenly believe if they are having back pain they should lay in bed or eliminate all activity. When the pain is severe, 1-2 days of decreased activity and bed rest may be helpful. Beyond that, decreased activity can lead to more pain from contracted tight muscles.
Most of us lead sedentary lives. We exercise on the weekend after sitting behind a computer all week. Those who do exercise regularly often don’t focus on their spine. Running or lifting weights doesn’t improve the strength of the abdominal and low back muscles. Specific back exercises are necessary to do that. For those with a back problem, core strengthening routines should be a part of a daily exercise program.
Back pain can be so severe that most people assume there is something dreadfully wrong with their spine. They see their MRI report and are certain that words such as degenerative, bulging, and arthrosis are the cause of their symptoms. What most don’t realize, is that many findings seen on an MRI are a normal process of aging and have been gradually occurring for years. Without a traumatic incident, an MRI should not be seen as a necessity unless the pain hasn’t improved with medications and activity change over a period of weeks or if there is significant leg pain or weakness developing.
No one wants to be disabled, even temporarily, by back pain. It is easy to become frustrated when doctors can’t give a definitive cause for the pain or seem to treat every symptom with medication and exercise. It can be tempting to try well marketed but unproven technologies for thousands of dollars; or jump to surgical solutions which can make the pain worse or result in complications worse than the original symptom. Be careful, do the background checking. If something seems to be too good to be true, it probably is.
There are a number of things that an individual can do to reduce the likelihood of those horrible back pain episodes.
For more information or for a referral to spine specialist, please call the Baylor Spine Center at 817.424.4151.
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