What should I do to get relief from lower back pain?
Q: I am a 43-year-old female. I have lower back pain from the past few years. Three months ago the pain became very severe. The x-ray report says: Normal alignment with mild scoliosis convex to the left. There is decreased L4/L5 and L5/S1 disc space and some degenerative changes are noted at the L4/L5 and L5/S1 facet joints. Conclusion: Degenerative changes at L4/L5 and L5/S1. The doctor prescribed pain killers and recommended to see a physiotherapist and do some exercises. I am visiting a physiotherapist and have taken 6 sessions in two and a half weeks. He did some bending of the back and teaches me to exercise every hour. I have followed his instructions and the pain is not as bad as before, but I still can't sit for more than half an hour. I find difficulty in doing house chores for more than half an hour. Lying down is comfortable. The therapist says I am suffering from lumbar spondylosis and the exercises will strengthen the muscles and the pain will go away gradually. He has asked mt to come only once a week and said that after a few more sessions there is no need to see him and I can do the exercises myself. I only need to see him for random checkup. He said that this condition cannot be cured but the pain can be minimised with right posture and exercises. Will I be normal like before or should I try acupunture? How serious is my condition and what will happen when I grow older?
A:You do have a problem that needs care but there is no need to panic. The radiological evidences are the most common ones one gets to see at your age. There is nothing to fear about it. Well, your clinical findings are also important but, the fact you have been called for routine check-ups later suggests you are out of the woods. The muscle power of your spinal muscles is very important to avoid any more changes that could give you a relapse. Since you are feeling a little better, it will just be a matter of time that you are fine again. You can try hot water fomentation for your back The tingling sensation will gradually go away. I suggest, you do your exercises properly and follow the ergonomic advice which should become a part of your daily routine and not something you are doing which is a strain on you. Well a relapse cannot be ruled out totally, but, with my experience I can tell you that this remains a practical advice to patients in medical books who take CARE of their spine properly. So, do take care of your spine and you shall be fine. Avoid long periods of recumbency, as well as standing or walking. I am not qualified to give any advice on acupuncture.