Back pain is a symptom that is among the most common complaints of everyday life of the population. It is estimated that every person will have at least one episode of back pain in life. This pain can be mild or intense, fast or constant. There are several causes, risk factors and prevention for back pain. Back pain can originate in the spine, muscles, nerves or from other structures in the region. It may also originate in other organs and radiate to the back, such as renal colic or ovarian, infections, heart attack and other problems.

Among the main causes of back pain are:

Many intra-abdominal disorders can also cause radiating pain, including:

It is important to seek medical help to find the cause of the pain and get on with the treatment prescribed by the doctor. Upon arriving to the consultation, the doctor will make a series of questions about the area of ​​the back that is hurting, your eating habits, physical activities in, and ask for information about their work and sleep rhythm.

Among the specialists you can consult to find the reason for your back pain are:

During the consultation, you should answer questions for your doctor about your pain, including pain frequency, location and intensity. Among the questions that your doctor can make the query to find the cause of your back pain are:

The doctor will likely make a series of questions to find out the cause of your back pain, such as:

During the physical examination, your doctor will try to identify the location of the pain and figure out how it affects your movement. He may ask you to sit, stand or walk. Your doctor may ask you to try to walk on tiptoe and then on his heels. It will also ask you to lift your legs up while lying down. If the pain is worse when you do this, you may have sciatica, especially if you also feel numbness or tingling in one of his legs.

Your doctor will also move your legs in different positions, including bending and straightening the knees. At the same time, the doctor is assessing your strength and your ability to move.

To test nerve function, the doctor will use a device to check your reflexes. It will also touch your legs in many locations with a pin, flexible rod (swab) or other objects to test your sensory nervous system. Your doctor will ask if there are areas where the sense pin, cotton or feathers bother.

Your doctor will probably not order any tests during the first visit. However, if you have any of the symptoms or circumstances below, it can order imaging tests even in this first consultation:

In these cases, the doctor is looking for a tumor, infection, fracture, or serious nerve disorder. The above symptoms are indications that one of these conditions may be present.

Treatment for back pain depends on the cause of this problem and can only be started after diagnosis.

A pain may have various causes, so that the treatment varies according to the diagnosis made by the doctor. Therefore, only a trained expert can tell what the most appropriate medicine for your case as well as the correct dosage and duration of treatment.

Always follow strictly the guidelines of your doctor and never automedique. Do not stop the drug without consulting a doctor before and, taking it more than once or in much larger quantities than prescribed, follow the instructions on the label.

Follow these precautions to prevent back pain:

Exercise is important for the prevention of back pain in the future. Through exercise, you can:

Exercise is important for the prevention of back pain in the future. Through exercise, you can:

Reviewed by: Celio Roberto Gonçalves, rheumatologist, president of Spondyloarthritis Committee, the Brazilian Society of Rheumatology (SBR), medical doctor assistant at HCFMUSP, in the Rheumatology and Head of the Outpatient Care spondyloarthritis. It is Master and Doctor of Rheumatology at FMUSP - CRM: 20383 / SP.

Renato Ueta, Orthopedic, Orthopedics Department of the Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP) - CRM: 111 593 / SP.

Flavio Fernandes Naves, General practitioner, CRM: 133733 / SP.

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