Joe, 42, has been experiencing chronic back pain for the past three years. He’s tried massages and heating pads, but nothing seems to make his back feel better. What is causing his back pain and what can he do to make it stop hurting?
You’re not overweight, you don’t have a belly, but you say that your shoulders ache in the morning and your back aches almost all of the time. There could be a few causes. It could be a bone and joint problem or it could be a muscle problem. A lot of guys go to their doctor and get codeine or something like it to deal with the pain. But codeine decreases your testosterone. Low testosterone, even at a young age, can cause osteoporosis. You could have diffuse pain, which is widespread pain that affects many areas. If you have pain in multiple areas, I’d recommend seeing a doctor. There are certain kinds of immune disorders that can affect multiple joints. You ride a bike and you say that your back stiffens up and hurts after you ride, but not during your ride. You also say that hot showers help ease your back pain. This makes it sound like your problem is more muscular. A lot of the time when people have back pain, we treat with a muscle relaxer, but I don’t want you to take medication you don’t need to take. For now, try stretching a lot before and after you ride your bike, because after you exercise your muscles constrict. I think that hot showers and stretching will be the key to your success.
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