Great back pain treatment is something many people need. These awful aches are part of some people’s lives, and we’d like to help. Acute low back pain is a common cause of visits to a primary care physician. The vast majority of back pain cases resolve on their own with conservative management. Physical therapists are experts in back pain treatment.
Whether your back pain is a minor inconvenience or has become a debilitating condition, the first step toward healing is to identify the cause so that great back pain treatment can be implemented quickly.
Back pain treatment
Back pain treatment begins with a solid diagnosis. An accurate diagnosis begins with a review of your medical history and a physical examination. Your doctor will ask you about the nature of the pain, where it is located, and when it began. During your physical exam, your doctor will ask about the type and location of pain, may lightly press on the muscles near the site of pain, and may ask you to perform certain movements.
You may experience stiffness and pain in specific areas, so they will try to isolate the location. After a careful review of your medical history and physical examination, your doctor should be able to determine a great back pain treatment plan for you.
Lab tests and imaging such as X-rays may be ordered to investigate possible causes. These diagnostic tests can help your doctor rule out serious conditions such as a fracture or infection. A physician may order a blood test to look for specific diseases or conditions. More detailed tests for discitis, osteomyelitis, and vertebral abscess can help narrow down the diagnosis.
A damaged disc is perhaps the most common cause of back pain. It can occur slowly or after a sudden motion or twist. During a rupture, the disc presses on the nerve roots and irritates them. The pain can last for a few days or longer. It can cause a sharp pain in the back and may radiate down one leg or into the foot. Diagnosis of back pain is important to ensure your overall health and treatment strategy.
Great back pain treatment includes a variety of options. Conservative treatment may be effective in most cases, but for some, a supervised physical therapy program may be recommended. The best treatment for back pain will depend on the underlying cause of the pain. Surgical intervention can be a last resort for severe cases. Great back pain treatment options should be discussed with a doctor and their staff. For more information, click on the links below.
Some back pain treatment options include pharmacological, interventional, and surgical treatment. There are nonpharmacological treatments available for back pain, including physical therapy care. If your doctor suspects spinal stenosis or a sacroiliac joint injury, he or she will likely prescribe an MRI or a bone scan.
A spine X-ray can reveal disc protrusion or compression and may reveal a slipped disc. However, MRIs may also show spinal stenosis, which can affect the nerve roots or spinal canal.
Home treatments include alternating heat and cold to help relax the muscles and reduce inflammation. Heat and ice should be applied for at least 20 minutes, two to three times daily. A specialist can prescribe muscle relaxants or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for short-term relief of back pain. Although heat and ice can provide short-term relief, they should be used with care. The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases provides health information for individuals and their doctors.
Nondrug treatments are usually tried first, followed by over-the-counter medications and exercises. Over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen and naproxen are also good options. They are the most common medication for back pain treatment. While these drugs may temporarily relieve the discomfort, they do have side effects and are dangerous if overused. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and muscle relaxants can help reduce pain, but they also can cause dizziness, insomnia, and other side effects. Topical pain relievers are also a great back pain treatment for mild pain or aches from overexertion.
Lifestyle changes, such as modifying one’s diet, can be part of back pain treatment. Regular exercise and stretching are great ways to stay in shape that may reduce back pain. You may also choose to undergo acupuncture or massage therapy. These treatments may help reduce tension in the muscles and joints and improve the body’s ability to heal. If your back pain doesn’t resolve quickly, physical therapy is an excellent option.
Medical intervention for back pain
If your suffering continues, your physician may prescribe a back pain treatment plan that involves physical therapy and nonsurgical options.
Physical therapy is the mainstay of back pain treatment. Patients should be advised to avoid lifting, bending, or bearing too much weight. Medications such as NSAIDs and acetaminophen are the usual pharmaceutical therapies. Low-dose systemic steroids may also be beneficial. Steroid injections, NSAIDS, and physiotherapy can be used in conjunction with other treatments for chronic back pain. Steroids are usually reserved for the most severe cases. If these treatments do not work, the physician may consider a different treatment option.
Severe cases of back pain diagnosis and treatment needed
In some cases, surgery is required. Surgical procedures such as fusion and spinal stenosis often only treat certain types of back pain. Fortunately, most common back pain conditions can be treated with over-the-counter medications and physical therapy. If the pain persists, a doctor will recommend an appropriate course of treatment. If your doctor recommends physical therapy and medication, you may be able to return to normal activity quickly.
When conservative treatments fail, spinal fusion may be the right option. Spinal fusion involves fusing spinal bones, thereby restricting movement between vertebrae and reducing the pain from the affected joint. For lumbar spinal fusion, a bone graft is placed between vertebral sections. The patient may also need physical therapy afterward for safe mobility and strengthening exercises.
A discectomy is a back pain treatment involving the removal of a herniated disc. The disc can put pressure on a nerve root or spinal cord, causing intense pain. Microdiscectomy is another type of surgery. It involves a smaller incision. This procedure may be more effective because it allows quicker recovery. It is also less painful than traditional surgery. There are many advantages of microdiscectomy, including a faster recovery time.
After surgery, physical therapy is an important part of the recovery process for people with back pain. A physical therapist who specializes in physical therapy should provide the safe exercises. Here is some information needed before doing back and sciatica exercises.
The right exercises can speed up the recovery process. Some physical therapists require patients to perform home exercises every two hours. Generally, home exercises are just five minutes long and do not require any special equipment or a gym membership. There are also many types of physical therapy, including manual therapies, mobility training, core strengthening and neuromuscular rehabilitation. A physical therapist will direct you toward safe activities and guide you back to a functional, productive life.