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What is the treatment for non-specific backache?

Q: I suffered from backache due to twin pregnancy, two years back. It was an on and off attack of pain. In the last two months, the problem has resurfaced in its worse form. I am unable to stand erect, when I get up from the chair or bed. My spine is in a curved position. After walking the first few steps, I am able to walk comfortably. One of the doctors said that this seems to be a disc problem. How can this be corrected? Please advise.

A:Of the 3 types of back pain (namely sinister, inflammatory and non-specific) you have the non-specific variety. This is related to stresses and strains on the lower back that we all go through in our daily life. It is nothing serious but needs regular exercise, good restful sleep and bringing down body weight to normal levels. The diagnosis of disc that needs surgery etc. is made only if there is problem in urination or passing stools i.e. serious and persistent neurological symptoms. That you have no such symptoms, it would be strongly advisable that you continue to carry on your daily routine and DO NOT take prolonged bed rest. It has been shown that prolonged bed rest in non-specific back pain leads to chronicity and more problems due to weakness in the back muscles. In addition you MUST see a physiotherapist for advice on back muscle strengthening exercises. A simple muscle relaxant called amitriptyline taken at the dose of 10 mg 2 hours before going to bed gives good relaxing sleep and helps in gettng rid of back pain. However, this should NOT be taken without having a consultation (and on prescription) with a rheumatologist.

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