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Back pain question -- possible TMI

I've been having lower back pain for over a month. It isn't sharp, but more like an ache, a perpetual distraction rather than a disability. It feels a bit like the ache I used to get before my period -- it's in that area of the back, below the waist but just above the hips -- except that it's not correlated with my cycle.

I went to the doctor (not about that specifically, but mentioned it) and she said it was probably musculoskeletal, but didn't give me any recommendations besides heavy doses of ibuprofen and moist heat.

So: has anyone else had experience with something like this? Would exercise help? Can anyone refer me to anything that would? I know there are a lot of self-help back pain materials out there, but since this isn't the acute back pain that drives people to chiropractors and PTs, I've been unsure whether the standard exercises would help.

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Comments

postynotedreams
Dec. 20th, 2009 05:44 am (UTC)
I have "mild" scoliosis (ie it only affects two vertebra) so back pain is my default setting.

I'd agree with Kalleah on the stretching. But the stretching should feel good not bad. A small amount of pain is ok, but on the whole it should make you feel better. If not, stop and try to get in to see a physical therapist or back to your GP.

You should also use the standard preventative stuff: make sure your chair at work fits you properly, never bending at the waist and lifting things correctly (or avoiding lifting), etc.
np_complete
Dec. 22nd, 2009 01:56 am (UTC)
You've given me an idea: I experience it a lot at home, when I'm sitting in straight-backed dining chairs (even at my desk). Maybe I need to invest in a proper desk chair to use at home.
glory_jean
Dec. 22nd, 2009 02:05 am (UTC)
Ooh, yes. Ergonomics are important. Dining room chairs are not good for long term sitting. I finally got the right desk chair after using one that didn't fit me correctly for years and it's made a huge difference.
np_complete
Dec. 22nd, 2009 02:08 am (UTC)
I realized recently that I tend to curl up in my chair with one leg under me, partly for height, and partly to get close enough to the keyboard. Those seem like classic signs that I need a new chair!
glory_jean
Dec. 22nd, 2009 03:28 am (UTC)
Should also read this before you shop. Helped me out.