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Medical Spanish Video Lesson: Back Pain

Doctor Lozano is meeting patients, and who walks through the door?  Our favorite worry wart, Dolores. (Dolor means “pain” in Spanish, by the way). This time, she is complaining and complaining about back pain. The wise old doctor suspects that it’s more about the attention than the pain, so he recommends a harsh treatment that has a miraculous effect.  

Read the transcript here:

¿Cómo está Dolores?
How are you, Dolores?

Muy mal, me duele la parte baja de la espalda, no me puedo enderezar. Creo que sufro de lumbalgia, que es un dolor en la región inferior de la espalda que a veces se extiende hasta las caderas, la cual puede ser consecuencia de una contractura muscular. Pero, no sé cómo la contraje porque yo no practico deportes, es que soy tan débil, doctor.
Very bad. My lower back hurts and I can’t walk straight. I think I suffer from “lumbalgia” which is a pain in the lower back that sometimes extends up to the hips; it can be caused by a muscle spasm. But I do not know how I contracted it, because I do not play sports. I am too weak for that Doctor.

A ver, veamos. Ya, le recomiendo que tome un analgésico como el diclofenaco y que haga sesiones de estiramiento de la espalda.
Let’s see, let’s see. Ok, I recommend you to take some painkillers such as diclofenac and do some stretching sessions for the back.

¿Nada más? ¿Diclofenaco y estiramientos? ¿nada más? Pero, doctor, ya le dije que estoy muy mal, que no me puedo enderezar.
Is that all? Diclofenac and stretching? Is that all? But, doctor, I told you that I am very ill. I can’t walk straight.

A ver, déjeme ver mejor. Ajá, me parece que usted tiene una atrofia o deformación en los huesos de su columna vertebral que ocasiona una presión en los nervios de su columna y le causan ese dolor infernal. La solución es una operación de columna: separaremos sus vértebras para que ya no presionen los nervios. ¿Qué le parece?
Ok, let me see better. Yeah, I think you have an atrophy or deformity in the bones of your spine that causes pressure on the nerves of your spine and that is causing that infernal pain. The solution is a column operation: we will separate your vertebrae so they don’t longer press your nerves. What do you think?

Este, gracias, doctor. Creo que solo compraré unos analgésicos en la farmacia donde siempre me ofrecen descuentos por ser tan buena cliente y haré estiramientos. Hasta luego.
Ok, thank you, doctor. I think I will just buy some painkillers from the pharmacy I always go to; they offer me a discount because I am such a good customer and I also will stretch. See you later.

En esta lección aprendimos que: In this lesson we learnt that:
La lumbalgia es un dolor en la región inferior de la espalda, el cual puede ser consecuencia de una contractura muscular.
(y que) Atrofia es un mal que provoca la reducción estructural de un órgano del cuerpo.
Lower back pain (or Lumbalgia) is a pain in the lower back which can be caused by a muscle spasm.
(and that) Atrophy causes a structural reduction of a body organ.


These videos offer a lighthearted glimpse at a very serious subject. If you work in healthcare, please know that we offer an introductory course in Spanish for healthcare workers. The course is not overly technical, but will provide you with the tools to meet with Spanish speaking patients in a clinical setting.

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