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Free Medical Advice sponsored by
Got an ache or pain? Have a question about a prescription or over-the-counter drug? Looking for some FREE medical advice?
Question:
I have sharp pain in my left butt cheek that runs down my left hamstring. When I sit it becomes worse. What do you think is wrong and what course of action do you recommend?
RJ
Answer:
Dear RJ, Thanks for your question. Low back/buttock pain is a very common problem affecting four out of five adults at some time in their life. The most common causes of low back pain are muscle strains and spasms, osteo-arthritis, sciatica (compression of the sciatic nerve as it travels from the back to the leg) and inflammation of a nerve cause pain to travel from your back down into a leg. In your case with pain that goes down the leg it sounds as if you have some irritation of the sciatic nerve or sciatica. In general back pain will settle in two to four weeks with conservative treatment. Within the first 24 hours an ice pack may help. Later local application of heat may be helpful. Over-the-counter pain relievers include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, aspirin and paracetamol (In the USA - acetaminophen (brand names: Tylenol)). A gentle return to normal activities is encouraged. Strict bed rest doesn't help and can actually slow the healing process. If you have back pain plus any of the following conditions, you should call your doctor without delay: fever, past use of steroids, like prednisone, unexpected weight loss, constant pain that cannot be relieved by change of position, a history of injury to your back, bladder or bowel problems, weakness in your legs, severe pain or a history of cancer. If you have any concerns and definitely if you fit one of the above categories, see your doctor. Hope this helps
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