Back pain is one of the most common medical complaints doctors hear and it is also one of the most difficult problems to diagnose and treat. Pinpointing the cause of the pain can be the hardest part, which makes treating back issues so frustrating both for doctors and for patients. Sometimes doctors will work with their patients for months, if not years, trying to find the exact source of their back pain in an effort to treat the problem. Other times doctors will choose various treatment options as a way to eliminate issues and pinpoint the source of the pain.
Common Causes of Back Problems
Lumbar muscle strain- a muscle spasm in your back can strain the muscles in your back causing pain in the lower or upper back that can last several weeks; this type of back pain can often be relieved by stretching, using warm compresses on the back, and allowing yourself to rest
Ruptured or herniated disc- when the cushioning between your vertebra slips out of place, it can cause excrutiating back pain because it causes pinched nerves in your spine; herniated or slipt discs often need to be corrected surgically, through intense physical therapy, and/or through chiropractic services physical therapy, medication and treatment by a chiropractor
Arthritis- a disease that commonly affects people as they age, arthritis attacks the joints and in some people can affect the small joints in the spine, causing back pain
Osteoporosis- caused by a lack of calcium, osteoporosis is a disease that causes your bones to become brittle and weak over time, making them susceptible to breaks; there is no cure for osteoporosis, but it can be managed through physical therapy, medication and chiropractic treatment
Fibromyalgia- an illness that continues to puzzle doctors, fibromyalgia causes pain in patients but currently the source of the pain is unknown; fibromyalgia can affect your joints, your neck, as well your back, and treating fibromyalgia is difficult since the source is unknown
Treatment for Back Problems
At Home Treatments- If you are suffering from back pain that isn’t crippling, you can try some at home treatments before resorting to medical care by a doctor. Stretching can be good for back pain issues caused by sore muscles. Yoga is also a helpful at home treatment for back pain. If you don’t want to try stretching or yoga, you can try applying warm compresses to the area that is bothering you to see if the pain goes away.
Physical Therapy- Many doctors recommend physical therapy for patients experiencing back pain. Depending on where the pain is located, the severity of the pain, as well as other factors such as age, physical therapy may be used alone or in addition to other forms of treatment such as chiropractic services and/or medication.
Chiropractic Services- Chiropractic medicine is a specialized therapy that addresses the muscoskeletal system. Chiropractors are trained to help relieve issues in the spine by using SMT, spinal manipulative therapy.
Surgery- Typically a last resort, doctors may recommend surgery depending on the cause of your back pain.