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Back pain is the most common reason people go to the doctor or miss work and one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. Almost everybody will have back pain at least once in their life.
One can take measures to prevent and/or relieve most back pain problems. Prevention is key, but things can and do happen, and therefore simple home treatment and proper body mechanics will usually do the trick and heal your back within a few weeks and keep it functional for the long haul. Surgery is usually not needed in treating back pain.
Signs and symptoms of back pain may include:
Usually, back pain improves with home treatment and self-care within two weeks. If it does not, then see a doctor.
There are cases where back pain can signal a serious medical problem. Seek immediate medical attention when back pain:
Causes weakness, numbness or tingling in one or both legs
Also, see a doctor if back pain begins for the first time after age 50, if there is a history of cancer, osteoporosis, steroid use, or drug and/or alcohol abuse.
Back pain can show up suddenly then last six weeks or less (acute); this type may be have been caused by a fall or heavy lifting. Back pain that lasts more than three months or more (chronic) is not as common as acute pain.
The pain often develops without a specific cause that a doctor can identify with a test or image study. Conditions that are commonly linked to back pain are:
Anyone can develop back pain, children and teens included. However, research has not proven what contributes to back pain. These factors might put one at a greater risk of developing back pain:
We can avoid back pain or prevent recurrence through an improved physical condition and learning/practicing proper body/posture mechanics.
Exercise: Low-impact aerobic workout/activities that do not strain or jolt the back. These can increase strength and endurance in the back and allow the muscles to function in a better fashion. Walking and swimming are good. Talk with a doctor about the best activities.
Build Muscle Strength And Flexibility: Abdominal/back muscle exercises (core-strength exercise) help condition these muscles, so they work together as a natural back brace. Flexibility in the hips and upper legs aligns the pelvic bones to improve how the back feels. The doctor or physical therapist can tell which exercises are right.
Healthy Weight: Excess weight strains the back muscles. Trimming down the excess weight will prevent back pain.
When seeing a doctor for back pain, they will examine the spine and assess the ability to sit, stand, walk and lift the legs. The doctor will ask for a pain rate on a scale of zero to ten. They will ask about daily activities and what steps are taken in functioning with back pain.
This determines where the pain comes from, how much movement before the pain forces stopping activities, and whether there are muscle spasms. This will help rule out the more serious causes of back pain.
If there is reason to suspect a specific condition causing the back pain, the doctor may order various tests:
Most acute back pain improves within a few weeks of home treatment. Over-the-counter pain relievers along with the use of heat or ice might be all that is needed. However, bed rest is not recommended.
Continue activities as whatever is tolerable. Light activity, i.e., walking/daily activities. Stop the activity that increases pain, but don’t avoid activity from fear of back pain. If home treatments don’t work after several weeks, a doctor might suggest stronger medications or alternative therapies.
Depending on the type of back pain, a doctor might recommend the following:
If the OTC pain relievers don’t relieve the pain, a doctor might suggest prescription NSAIDs.
Becoming educated about back pain management could involve a class, talking with a doctor, written material, video, or a combination. Education emphasizes the importance of staying active, reducing stress and anxiety, and teaching ways of avoiding future injury/s.
The cornerstone of back pain treatment is physical therapy. A physical therapist can apply various treatments, i.e., heat, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and muscle-release techniques, to the back muscles and soft tissues to reduce pain.
As the pain improves, the therapist can demonstrate exercises that increase flexibility, strengthen the back and abdominal muscles, and improve posture. Regular use of these techniques will help prevent pain from returning.
There are alternative treatments that ease symptoms of back pain. Always discuss the benefits and risks with a doctor before starting any new therapy.
If there is unrelenting pain associated with radiating leg pain or progressive muscle weakness caused by nerve compression, the surgery could benefit the individual. Otherwise, surgery is reserved for pain related to structural problems, i.e., narrowing of the spine (spinal stenosis) or herniated disc that hasn’t responded to other therapies.
Back pain is so common that numerous products have emerged promising to prevent or relieve back pain. But, there’s no real evidence that these special shoes, inserts, back supports, specially designed furniture, or stress management programs help. In addition, there is no known type of mattress that’s best for people with back pain. It all depends on what feels most comfortable for each individual.
If back pain lasts for a few days without improvement, make an appointment with a doctor. Information to help get ready for an appointment.
The doctor may ask:
The information herein on "Back Pain Treatment Specialist In El Paso TX" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional.
Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.
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