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What is low back pain? When should you see a doctor?

What is low back pain?

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Almost everyone has suffered from some form of back pain. Low back pain is also called spit and as the name suggests, this pain is concentrated in the lower back. The pain can be nagging, but also severe and can radiate to the buttocks or legs. Low back pain can recur regularly, but that does not necessarily mean that it is severe.

The complaints


In most people, the muscles, ligaments or joints in the back are at the root of the back pain. These can temporarily function less well or be overburdened, causing the pain. Low back pain usually goes away on its own within one or two weeks.

The cause


The complaints may be gradual or sudden. Too little movement or the wrong strain can gradually unbalance the back. Tiredness and stress can also play a role. After an accident or making the wrong movement, low back pain can also occur.

There are a number of risk factors that can influence the development of back pain, such as:

   sitting or standing in one posture for a long time for example during work;
    repetitive work;
    lifting and making a rotating movement at the same time;
    overweight.

What can you do yourself?


The best way to get rid of your lower back pain as quickly as possible is to keep moving. This keeps the back supple. Only heavy lifting and standing or sitting in the same position for a long time is not recommended. This can make the symptoms worse. When the complaints are over, you can put full strain on your back again, but build it up slowly. Of course you can always take paracetamol if the pain is too severe.

If you have pain when lying down, it may help to lie on your back with some cushions under your knees. Or on your side, with your legs half raised. If the pain is too severe and lying down turns out to be the least painful position, you can take bed rest for a short time. Do get out of bed regularly and do not stay in bed for longer than two days. If you do, your muscles may become stiff and recovery will take longer.

It is important to remember that low back pain is usually not serious. Try not to think about it too much, because stress or tension can make the back pain worse. Relaxation and movement are the best medicine for low back pain.

When should you see a doctor?


If the pain (possibly after two days of bed rest) is still so severe that you find it difficult to keep moving, it is wise to contact your family doctor. He can give you advice and refer you to a physiotherapist if necessary. He or she can use massages and exercises to promote recovery.

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