Some Common Questions and Answers about Back Pain
What conditions cause back pain?
4 out of every 5 people will suffer some sort of lower back pain during their life. Almost anything can cause back pain. Some of the more notable causes are:
- Muscles that become strained because of excess lifting, pushing, pulling or any other reason
- Injuries due to excess workplace loads, falls or other accidents
- Herniated/slipped discs
- Being overweight or even obese
- Bad posture
- You’re getting older
- You’re not in good physical shape.
When should you see our office for back pain management?
- If you suffer from numbness or tingling
- If you have an accident of any type
- If your pain doesn’t get better with rest or a good night’s sleep
- If you have difficulty in going to the bathroom, feel weak, have a fever
- If you have weight loss that you can’t explain.
How is back pain diagnosed?
These four tests are the most used tests:
- X-Rays: Used for medical imaging to diagnose and treat disease.
- Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan: This is a special type of x-ray that is more detailed than a common X-ray. Doctors can diagnose osteoporosis and other muscle and bone problems. Doctors also use this test to see of there is a blood clot, a tumor, or even an infection. Some diseases such as heart disease or cancer can be viewed. Internal injuries and bleeding can also be viewed with a CT scan. CT scans are helpful if you are having surgery, a biopsy or radiation therapy.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Test: This test allows the doctor some ability to see soft tissue, herniated discs and damage to the nerve. If you are claustrophobic, an open MRI (instead of enclosed one) may be an option.
- Myleogram: This is another type of x-ray procedure. It uses a medical machine called a fluoroscope which takes moving x-rays. A dye or a contrast material will be used. This test is used by your doctor to see if you have inflammation, an infection, a herniated disc, a spinal tumor/lesion or spinal stenosis.
Are there non-surgical treatments for back pain?
Yes. Some of the common non-surgical treatments include anti-inflammatory medicine, pain medication, physical therapy and reducing your physical activity.
What back-pain conditions usually require some type of surgery?
- Surgery can be useful for these conditions:
- Disk Degeneration
- Herniated Discs
- Pinched nerves – especially if the pinch is severe
- Spinal stenosis (a narrowing of the spinal bones), spinal deformity and a compressed spinal cord.
- Some nerve damage problems – especially if you have radiating pain, acute pain, tingling in the extremities, or a loss of bladder or bowel control.
Are there non-invasive/non-surgical treatments for back pain?
Vertebroplasty may be an option. This procedure can help with stabilize spinal fractures.
Are there steps I can take to help manage my back pain?
Yes. Here are few recommended things you can do.
- Get regular exercise. That’s why we are trying to have a yoga, pilates or Zumba class.
- Make sure you stretch before you exercise
- Don’t sit and don’t stand in one position for too much time.
- Diet to get your weight under control
- Use the proper equipment to lift of move heavy objects. Use proper lifting/moving techniques
- Don’t smoke
Source – Twin Cities Community Hospital