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Question: Wife suffering severe back pain, unable to stand or sit comfortably. Area, lower back above right hip. Body temperature quite high. Sweating. What can I do? A. Creber

Answer: Dear A. Creber,

Whenever back pain is accompanied by unexplained fever, numbness, weakness and is very sharp it is important to see a doctor.

If back pain is not extremely severe, the following home care tips can be followed:

- Stop normal physical activity for the first few days.
- Apply heat or ice to the painful area. Try ice for the first 48-72 hours, then use heat after that.
- Take over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB) or acetaminophen (Tylenol).

- While sleeping, try lying in a curled-up, fetal position with a pillow between your legs.

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