Back pain can range from a dull ache to a sudden sharp pain when you try and lift something. At some point in their lives, about 8 out of 10 people will have back pain.
Some treatments for breast cancer may cause back pain:
- mitoxantrone (brand name: Novantrone), a chemotherapy medicine
- hormonal therapies:
Some pain medications, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, also can cause back pain.
Managing back pain
If your back pain is very bad or lasts for longer than a few days, talk to your doctor. You may be able to change to a different hormonal treatment or pain medicine that may ease your back problems.
One of the best things you can do to prevent back pain is to exercise regularly and keep your back and core muscles strong. Stretching your back muscles also can help ease back pain and stiffness. Staying in bed all day can actually make your back feel worse.
Some complementary and holistic medicine techniques have been shown to ease back pain, including:
Other tips for managing back pain:
- Hot or cold packs, or a combination of the two, can soothe a sore back. Heat can help reduce muscle spasms and cold can help reduce inflammation.
- Eat a healthy diet that includes enough calcium and vitamin D to keep your spine and bones as strong as they can be.
- Maintain a healthy weight to ease stress and strain on your back.
- Practice good posture and support your back properly when you have to sit for a long time.
- Avoid lifting heavy items. If you do have to lift something, keep your back straight (don't bend over to pick up the object). Instead, bend your knees and then lift the item. This puts the stress on your legs and hips rather than your back.
For more tips, ask the members of the Breastcancer.org Discussion Boards for advice.