Low Back Pain

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Low back pain, symptoms, causes, diagnosis and treatmentLow back pain is a universal experience by all humans as almost everyone experience it at some point. It is the most prevalent cause of work-related disability. According to the NINDS (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke), at least 80% of Americans in their lifetime will feel low back pain.

Symptoms of Low Back Pain

Symptoms vary from a dull ache to a feeling of stabbing or shooting. The pain may make it difficult for you to move or stand up directly. Acute back pain occurs suddenly, often following heavy lifting or a sports injury. Back pain that lasts for three or more months is considered chronic pain.

The common signs and symptoms of lower back pain include:

  • Shooting or stabbing pain
  • Muscle aches
  • Pain that gets worse with walking, bending, lifting, or standing
  • Pain that radiates down your leg
  • Pain that improves with reclining

Causes

A fall or heavy lifting can cause acute back pain that occurs suddenly and lasts no more than six weeks. Back pain that lasts for more three to four months is less prevalent than a sharp pain.

Chronic back pain often develops without any apparent cause that can be identified by a test or an imaging study by your doctor. Conditions that can frequently cause low back pain include:

  • Muscle or ligament strain
  • Sports Injuries
  • Arthritis
  • Bulging or ruptured disks
  • Osteoporosis
  • Skeletal irregularities

Diagnosis

To assist your doctor in diagnosing the source of low back pain, describe the sort of pain, when it starts, associated symptoms, and any history of chronic disease or surgery. The common tests used to diagnose low back pain include:

  • X-ray spine and pelvis
  • Blood tests
  • Computerized tomography (CT)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Ultrasound imaging
  • Myelograms
  • Electrodiagnostics
  • Discography
  • Bone scans

Treatment

Most low back pains of acute origin get better with a few weeks of home therapy. For some people, it may persist and change into a chronic form. However, as the body response towards home therapies is different for everyone, many people with back pain consult a physician or orthopedics for personal advice.

Continue your routine life activities as much as you can tolerate. Try light activity like walking, jogging, and cycling. Stop exercise that increases pain, but do not avoid light physical activities out of fear of pain. You can also use over the counter pain relievers such as NSAIDs along with home therapies. If home therapies and adjuvant medications do not work after two to three weeks, consult your doctor for specific medicines or other therapies.

Massage Therapy for Low Back Pain

Various human studies and clinical trials have shown that massage treatments can help alleviate chronic low back pain. Massage therapy can reduce pain and help restore people to their usual activities of daily living. However, it is restricted and would not be a safe and effective solution for people with accidents, spinal complications, or disk issues. It is due to the fact that massage focuses on releasing muscle tension and not on the structure of the backbone itself.

Physical Therapy

Various rehabilitation programs such as physiotherapy can assist with healing as well as reduce the danger of re-injuring the low back. You can opt for guided physical therapy with low-impact exercises, stretching, and strengthening to optimize short- and long-term outcomes.

Chiropractic Care

Chiropractors and osteopathic specialists use spinal manipulation to treat low back pain in specific patients. This technique applies hand pressure to affected back regions to relax the irritated muscle and decrease pain intensity. Traction is another technique that uses pulleys and weights to lengthen and extend the spine.

Both methods are not going to treat any underlying cause of low back pain, but instead, offer temporary relief. Some patients may also need surgical intervention for comfort and pain relief.

If you are looking for a back pain, herniated disc, bulging disc or sciatica treatment specialist in Dallas, Tx, give us a call for an evaluation.

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