How To Identify What Is Causing Your Back Pain
When it comes to back pain, there are a variety of different symptoms you can experience. Symptoms can help you determine what may be causing your pain. A doctor can also help you determine the cause of your back pain by evaluating your condition. Learn about the different types of back pain and treatment options available.
Symptoms Of Back Pain
Back pain can be a nuisance, limiting your ability to do day-to-day activities. Fortunately, there are several treatment options available to help ease the pain. If the back pain is severe, it is a good idea to consult a medical professional. A chiropractor may be able to help ease the discomfort, or you may be able to find an at-home remedy that will help relieve the symptoms.
Back pain can affect anyone, and can manifest itself in many different ways. For example, the pain can be dull and inconsequential, or it can be sharp and stabbing, and can last for days or even weeks. The pain can be felt anywhere on the back, but it is most common in the lower back. Sometimes, back pain can radiate into the buttocks, arms, or groin.
Back pain may be the result of an injury or an underlying problem. Sometimes, it can also result from bad posture or from improper lifting. Even smoking or wearing high heels can cause back pain. Poor sleep and being overweight can also contribute to back problems. Back pain can also be caused by scoliosis, kidney stones, or pregnancy.
Treatment Options For Back Pain
Medications can help relieve back pain and are available over-the-counter and by prescription. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be prescribed for severe or chronic back pain, as well as acute muscle and bone pain. Acetaminophen, a commonly prescribed over-the-counter pain reliever, may also help relieve pain. However, taking too much acetaminophen can have dangerous side effects.
Back pain is common and affects about eight in ten Americans. It can be caused by anything from a simple sprain to more serious problems. Depending on the underlying cause, treatment will vary greatly. Many episodes of back pain can be treated at home with rest and over-the-counter medications, while some more severe conditions may require surgery.
A chiropractor is an excellent choice for people with back pain. These practitioners offer non-surgical treatment and often prescribe therapeutic exercises and nutritional advice. Patients with acute back pain may also consult a primary care provider, who manages complex medical histories and may prescribe short-term medication to help them manage their symptoms. Alternatively, an osteopath offers traditional medical care and manipulation techniques.
Diagnosis Of Back Pain
Diagnosis of back pain is an essential first step in the management of this common medical condition. Fortunately, most cases resolve with time and conservative therapy. Some red flags, however, can alert healthcare providers to more serious conditions. These include cauda equina syndrome, fracture, or malignancy. In addition, back pain may also be a sign of a disease, such as inflammatory bowel disease.
The first step in the diagnosis process is to obtain a physical exam. This will include an examination of the back and palpation of the vertebrae and soft tissues for tenderness. Although not sensitive, this method of diagnosis is sometimes useful, particularly if back pain is referred from the hip or pelvis.
In addition to a thorough physical examination, a doctor may order tests to determine what is causing the pain. Depending on the location and severity of the pain, a doctor may recommend a course of treatment. Typically, conservative treatments will include pain medications and rest. However, in severe cases, back surgery may be recommended.