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Taking Care Of Back Pain

July 30, 2014, 6:19 PM by Brittany Larson

Taking Care Of Back Pain

Back pain is one of the most common reasons why people see their doctor.

If you suffer from back pain, you're not alone.

"About 90 percent of us will have back pain in our lives, now the good news about that is about 90 percent gets better on its own," Dr. Chris Janssen said.

However, severe injuries like a herniated disc take time to heal.

They can sometimes tear and they can also herniate and pinch on the nerves. And when they pinch on the nerves that can cause pain to shoot right into the leg. Because there's all these different structures that can cause pain in the back, it's a very common thing for people to have.  

33-year-old Bill Gassan has been seeing Dr. Janssen a little more than a year for his pain.

"I was working out and about halfway through a workout not lifting or anything at that point in time, I bent down to stretch and that's when I first felt my back start to seize up and led me to come in and see Dr. Janssen," Bill Gassan said.

Gassan is athletic and works out regularly but his paralyzing pain made it difficult to walk.

"Real tight kind of spasms in the lower back that were also accompanied by some shooting pain. I was fortunate not to have the radiating pain that runs all the way down the leg into your feet but it did have sharp shooting pains and just difficult to move due to the spasms," Gassan said.

Dr. Janssen says to be mindful of certain symptoms that can be serious. 

“If you're having trouble with progressive weakness in your leg or legs then it's time to go see a physician immediately. If you have problems with unexplained weightless, fever or chills then or you have a lot of abdominal pain with your back pain that also is a medical emergency and it's very important that you see a physician for any of those things," Jannsen said.

For Gassan an occasional flare up happens, but for the most part is back to normal.

“Began that regimen of the physical therapy, which got me back to my baseline which enabled me to start back into my regular exercise routines and doing those types of things,” Gassan said.

Acute back pain is usually caused by an injury or lifting something too heavy.
If your back is hurting, cold packs can help, along with taking an over-the-courter medication to reduce inflammation.

Dr. Janssen recommends to still take it easy after a back injury and to pace yourself before getting back to your normal exercise routine.

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