Diagnosing Back Pain:
When visiting the doctor, the patient is evaluated for several things.
- The first evaluation is pain severity. Severe pain requires immediate treatment otherwise it will affect the other examinations.
- A neurological examination is also conducted in order to assess the severity of the condition.
- Then, checking the blood flow at the lower extremities
- Checking paralysis, sensory issues in the lower limbs and problems with urination and stool.
There are other tests to be run if the problem is more specific.
- X rays are good for checking fractures and degenerative changes in joints but do not show the spinal disk, ligaments, muscles, nerves or tissues.
- MRI and CT are good for nerves, ligaments, muscles and spinal discs, but there is radiation exposure. Each test has advantages and disadvantages. We will discuss these more in depth at a later time.
- Blood tests may be helpful in diagnosing an inflammatory condition in the vertebral column.
The majority of back pain improves with home therapy over several weeks.
- Pain relievers are beneficial but should not be used continuously.
- Muscle relaxants, warm water and heat, physical therapy and massages can also be used.
- In order to strengthen muscles and gain flexibility it is important to avoid laying all the time and do mild activities such as walking, swimming and regular daily activities.
These treatments are useful after ruling out more critical causes of back pain. You should visit your doctor for a diagnosis and treatment plan. Once diagnosed, treatment is based on the recommendation of the doctor in proportion to the health of the patient.