"Throwing" Your Back Out
Q: Every so often, sometimes for no reason at all, I throw my back out and
can't even walk for a few days. My doctor tells me to rest and take ibuprofen.
Is that my only option?
Dr. Donnica: Studies have shown that, as painful as it sounds, the best
treatment for neuromuscular back pain is physical therapy in conjunction with
rest and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication (such as ibuprofen or several
other OTC or prescription choices).
It seems counter-intuitive. The last thing you want to do when you're in pain
is to exercise! But strengthening your back and abdominal muscles will go a
long way toward reducing your short-term pain as well as preventing recurrences.
You still need to ask your doctor to make a specific diagnosis, which will
require x-rays to begin with. Usually, the expression "I threw my back
out," suggests a vertebral disc problem or a spondylolisthesis (a vertebral
Created: 1/10/2004  - Donnica Moore, M.D.