When diagnosing back pain, a back pain specialist will likely test the nerve function and motion range and will have to touch the body to accurately identify the areas of pain and discomfort.
In some cases, urine and blood test may be required to rule out infections and other likely medical issues.
X-rays may also be recommended to check if there are other serious causes for the back pain. X-rays are helpful when checking for broken bones as well as possible skeletal defects. X-rays can also help pinpoint connective tissue problems.
However, when checking for likely soft-tissue damage and disk problems, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) scans might be necessary. An electromyogram (EMG) will also be needed when checking for any muscle or nerve damage.
Treatment Options for Back Pain
Treatment options for back pain can vary from one person to another.
Factors like pain cause and severity will also be taken into account before deciding on the best treatment option to pursue.
Some of the likely treatment options for back pain can include but are not limited to the following:
To relieve acute back pain caused by a minor injury or strain, resting for at least 24 to 48 hours is recommended. Aspirins and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) will also be given to help minimize inflammation and pain.
Once the inflammation subsides, applying heat will likely be prescribed to help soothe the strained connective tissues and the cramped muscles.
Contrary to popular belief, long-term bed rest is not necessary and can even prove counterproductive. In most cases, patients can already continue doing normal and non-strenuous activities within 24 to 72 hours.
To be safe, it is advisable to check with a back pain specialist if doing controlled exercises or physical therapy might be necessary. Physical therapy treatments may use massage, whirlpool baths, and ultrasound, among others to regain full back use.
If the back pain is so severe and prevents the individual from participating in normal daily activities, pain medications like ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), aspirin, and naproxen (Aleve) might be prescribed.
When the condition does not respond to OTC painkillers, steroid injections may be recommended. However, steroid injections often provide only temporary relief and may come with potential side effects so this treatment option is rarely used.
Some physicians may recommend transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator (TENS) to help relieve back pain. This is done by taping electrodes to the body and the said electrodes will carry a mild electrical current to help alleviate back pains.
For nonspecific back pains, surgery is often the last resort as chronic nonspecific back pains are not always attributed to spinal issues. However, surgery might be necessary when imaging results will indicate nerve tissue damage or compression.
Surgery is also the likely option when the condition does not respond to conservative options like rest, medications, physical therapy, and home exercise programs.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) treatment may include relaxation techniques, education, behavioral adaptation and stress management. CBT can minimize the back pain’s intensity and may even lift depression.
CBT is considered effective in relieving low back pain. Some studies even indicate it is more superior compared to placebo and routine care.
If back pain is secondary to muscle spasm or tension, biofeedback may be recommended.
This treatment option can help minimize pain and improve overall life quality. Biofeedback can also help the muscles to respond better to movement or stress.
Both the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society attested that acupuncture may help those with chronic low-back pains, especially when other treatment alternatives proved futile.
Acupuncture can be used as part of other treatment plans or it can be used alone. However, no enough evidence is available that can support its effectivity in treating acute back pain. More on Thefirewheel.com