Referred Pain To And From The Lumbar Spine
Pain in the area of the lumbar spine may be due to important problems that are actually unrelated to the back. Referred pain occurs when a problem in one place in the body causes pain in another place. The pain travels down a nerve.. Sources of referred pain to the low back may include abdominal aneurysm , tubal pregnancy, kidney stones, pancreatitis, and colon cancer. Clues to these maladies include pain that waxes and wanes over a short period, with frequent peaks of intense pain, weight loss, abnormalities found during abdominal exam, and trace amounts of blood in the urine. On the other hand, pain can be referred from the low back and be felt in another location, as is often the case with . For example, it is not rare for a patient with a slipped disc in the lower back to have pain in the back of the thigh, or in the calf or even the foot, and not have any low back pain. This situation requires a doctor to sort out the type of pain and to do the examination required to show that the pain is actually coming from the spine .
Causes Of Severe Back Pain
Though muscular strain is the most common cause of back pain, there are many possible causes, Dr. Gordon says, including:
- Compression Fractures due to osteoporosis
- Fractured vertebrae
- Herniated disc or degenerative disc disease
- Spinal cord tumor
Watch for these symptoms that warrant medical attention: pain accompanied by numbness or tingling in the arms or legs back swelling and redness , bowel or bladder problems or unintended weight loss, Dr. Gordon says.
Also, seek medical care if pain radiates down one or both legs, he says.
To determine the cause of chronic back pain, your doctor may order tests such as X-ray, magnetic resonance imaging , computed tomography scan, bone scan or electromyography, which is a test to diagnose neuromuscular abnormalities.
Can Lower Back Pain Be Related To Weather
If you feel like your lower back pain worsens on days when its cold or the weather is changing, you are not imagining things. Back pain can indeed be related to barometric pressure and outdoor temperature. Changes in pressure can sometimes cause pain in arthritic joints, including the spine. Muscles and joints in general react to the environment, which can make them stiffer and more likely to suffer an injury.
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Who Should I See For Lower Back Pain
Your primary care physician knows you best and should be your first contact for lower back pain. If he or she is unable to diagnose or treat the issue, you may get referred to a specialist, such as a rehabilitation physician . These specialists practice a comprehensive approach to lower back pain, and can diagnose and treat a variety of conditions that have lower back pain as a symptom.
Later, you may get referred to a physical therapist, a chiropractor or another practitioner depending on the nature of your back pain. The good news is that surgery is rarely needed for lower back pain. Only about one in ten patients needs lower back surgery, Chhatre says.
When To See A Doctor For Back Pain
Back is one of the most common medical conditions more than eight in 10 of us will experience it during our lifetime. There are many reasons why your back may hurtfrom a to more serious . The type of discomfort ranges from a dull to sharp pain. The most common type of back pain is acutewhich means it goes away within weeks. Chronic back pain lasts longer than three months. Knowing when to see a doctor for is half the battle when it comes to finding relief. Many people continue to function with mild backaches and find relief with at-home care measures. But, its important to know the signs and symptoms of a more serious back problem that requires a professional medical diagnosis and treatment.
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Ways To Treat Chronic Back Pain Without Surgery
Back pain is considered chronic if it lasts three months or longer. It cancome and go, often bringing temporary relief, followed by frustration.Dealing with chronic back pain can be especially trying if you dont knowthe cause.
Treatment Options For Lower Back Pain
If your GP thinks there may be a specific cause for your back pain, they may refer you to a specialist to treat that specific condition.Usually, lower back pain gets better in a few days or weeks and often you can manage it yourself at home. For some advice about when to seek medical help, see our section on Symptoms.
Your physiotherapist or GP will probably encourage you to try self-help measures. They can also advise you on what exercises you can do to help your back. If the pain doesnt improve, then your GP can help with other options or may refer you to a specialist.
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Family Doctor Or General Practitioner
Most back pain problems are first addressed in the office of an individuals general practitioner or primary care doctor. This is because it is often a pain problem that goes on for a length of time prior to the individual asking for help with it.
The most likely course of treatment if your family doctor is prescribing it will be medication therapy and/or physical therapy regimens. Your general practitioner will likely not be as well appraised of treatments for specific back pain problems as their specialist counterparts, so they might opt to order some tests to confirm their suspicions and then use those findings to refer you to one of the specialists listed below.
Answers To Common Back Pain Questions
More than eight in 10 people will experience upper, mid, or low back pain at some point in their lives. Low back pain is the most common back pain. In most cases, the pain goes away over time. If your back pain is severe or does not improve, you may need medical care. Here are answers to some common questions about back pain and tips on when to seek help.
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All Studies Have Limitations
And this one is no exception. While this study suggests that chiropractic care may be helpful for low back pain, some aspects of the study make it hard to be sure. For example:
If any of these factors had been different, the results might have been different. For example, its possible that if an older population of people with chronic low back pain had been studied, “usual care” might have been the better treatment.
Common Causes Of Chronic Back Pain
Chronic back painis usually age-related, but can also result from a prior injury. The mostcommon causes include:
- Arthritis of the spine the gradual thinning of the cartilage inside the spine
- Spinal stenosis narrowing of the spinal canal that may lead to nerve pain
- Disc problems, such as a herniated or bulging disc
- Myofascial pain syndromeunexplained muscle pain and tenderness
In some cases, its difficult to pinpoint the cause of chronic back pain.If your doctor has exhausted all diagnostic options, its time to seek asecond opinion from a back pain specialist, recommends Nava. Itsimportant not to make rushed decisions or undergo extensive medicalprocedures until the origin of the pain is found. Not only may they nothelp they could make the pain worse, warns Nava.
If the source of the pain is not known or cant be treated, your bestoption may be to work with your doctor on reducing the flare-ups and makingthe pain manageable with nonsurgical treatments.
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What Do Doctors Do For Back Pain
Ready for some relief? Its no fun living with chronic lower back pain, and once youre ready to say, I want to find the best lower back doctor near me!, youre on the first step to living a better life. The pain management specialists at the Pain Treatment Specialists will first listen to your concerns, and then determine a care plan that best fits your current condition, level of pain, and diagnosis. Our Ivy League-trained doctors have a wide variety of non-surgical options to provide patients with long-lasting relief from chronic lower back pain. Some of the teams treatments include:
- Lumbar Radiofrequency Ablation: This treatment involves electromagnetic waves that travel at the speed of light. The wave, which is a form of heat energy, is delivered precisely to the nerve endings that radiate pain. For patients who have not experienced success with nerve blocks or injections, lumbar radiofrequency ablation provides a longer-lasting option of increased mobility and pain reduction.
- Lumbar Facet Injection: This treatment inject a small amount of local anesthetic or numbing medicine into small joints around the vertebrae. This numbs the facet joints, blocks pain, and provides relief from chronic lower back pain.
The Importance Of An Accurate Diagnosis
The physician will need to take a careful medical history and do a physical exam to look for certain red flags that indicate the need for an X-ray or other imaging test. In most cases, however, imaging such as X-ray, MRI , or CT scan is unnecessary.
There may also be certain clues in a patients medical history. Low back, nonradiating pain is commonly due to muscle strain and spasm. Pain that radiates into the buttock and down the leg may be due to , a condition in which a bulging disc presses on the sciatic nerve, which extends down the spinal column to its exit point in the pelvis and carries nerve fibers to the leg. This nerve compression causes pain in the lower back radiating through the buttocks and down one leg, which can go to below the knee, often combined with localized areas of numbness. In the most extreme cases, the patient experiences weakness in addition to numbness and pain, which suggests the need for quick evaluation.
A persistent shooting or tingling pain may suggest lumbar disc disease. A pain that comes and goes, reaching a peak and then quieting for a minute or two, only to reach a peak again, may suggest an altogether different cause of back pain, such as a kidney stone.
When tumor or infection are suspected, the doctor may order blood tests, including a CBC and sedimentation rate .
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A Recent Study On Chiropractic Care For Low Back Pain
A 2018 study published in JAMA Network Open is among the latest to weigh in on the pros and cons of chiropractic care for treating low back pain. Researchers enrolled 750 active-duty military personnel who complained of back pain. Half were randomly assigned to receive usual care while the other half received usual care plus up to 12 chiropractic treatments.
After six weeks of treatment, those assigned to receive chiropractic care:
- reported less pain intensity
- experienced less disability and more improvement in function
- reported higher satisfaction with their treatment
- needed less pain medicine.
While no serious side effects were reported, about 10% of those receiving chiropractic care described adverse effects . Five percent of those receiving usual care had similar complaints.
Should I Visit A Doctor Or Chiropractor For Back Pain
Back Pain: The Right Professional to Call for Help
You’ve undoubtedly handled a lot of stressors in life.
Those pressures can be accompanied by a lot of trouble, not only mentally and emotionally, but also physically.
When feeling pain, it is vital to call for help the right help, that is.
Many are doubtful and confused as to where to find the right professional who can treat a throbbing back pain.
There are those who claim doctors are the way to go, while others swear by chiropractic treatment..
So which is the correct one to choose?
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Why Does My Back Hurt
There are various causes of back pain, including muscle pain with or without muscles spasms, disc pain, joint pain, or nerve pain. In most cases, these are not harmful or dangerous.
Muscle pain is the most common acute back pain. The period of acute pain is usually limited and may be treated at home or by primary care doctors. Sometimes, these patients may be referred to doctors who specialize in back pain. Some back pain can be a symptom of a more serious problem, like a fracture, infection, or cancer in the spine, said H. Michael Guo, MD, a Duke physiatrist who specializes in spine care. These patients should be seen by spine doctors. Fortunately, spine infections and cancer are very rare and usually only affect people with special risk factors. Spine fractures are also rare and may be associated with thinned spine bones or injuries.
Chiropractor Or Doctor For Back Pain
Back pain is a frustratingly common occurrence in the United States, with nearly 80% of people experiencing back pain sometime in their life, according to the American Chiropractic Association.
If you find yourself experiencing soreness and pain long your spine, it would be best to contact a lower back pain doctor or chiropractor but which one is best for you?
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Why Is Lower Back Pain Such A Common Problem
The bottom part of your back typically has just five vertebrae fewer than your neck and mid-back. And these vertebrae do a lot of heavy lifting! Your lower back is where your spine connects to your pelvis, bearing the weight of your upper body. This area experiences a lot of movement and stress, which may lead to wear, tear and injuries.
When Should I See A Chiropractor For Back Pain
You should see a chiropractor if youve had chronic back pain. If youve never had back pain before, chronic could mean something different to numerous people, but the best tell would be if back pain had not gone down in a week or more.
If at-home back pain treatments dont work in conjunction with resting, the problem most likely wont go away until such a specialist has checked it out.
Secondly, you should contact a back pain chiropractor as soon as possible if your severe back pain starts to travel to different parts of the body. Pain that shoots down your leg, especially down the foot, betrays a condition more serious than a strained muscle.
You could have slipped a disc or damaged a nerve. Worse, there could be a threat of cancer that you wont know until you have a lower back pain chiropractor or doctor check you out.
Another instance in which you should go to the chiropractor is if numbness, weakness, or tingling accompanies your back pain. This could be a sign of nerve damage or something else as equally severe. The pain could travel to your legs, different areas in your back, or elsewhere in the body since the spine is the central nervous systems hub.
Pain at certain positions is another reason to call the back doctor chiropractor. If youre fine standing and walking around but feel excruciating pain while bending over, somethings not right, and you should call your doctor.
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Which Lifestyle Factors Contribute To Lower Back Pain
There are three major lifestyle factors that may affect your chances of developing lower back pain:
- Multiple studies have established a link between smoking and lower back pain. Smoking raises inflammation inside the body and hinders the body from healing itself.
- Obesity is also associated with several types of chronic pain, including lower back pain. In people with high body mass index , the stress on the spine increases, contributing to even more wear and tear.
- Your level of physical activity can also play a role in your lower back health. While a sedentary lifestyle could increase your risk of developing lower back pain, so can excessive or strenuous physical activity. Check with your doctor if you are unsure about your ideal level of physical activity.
How To Find An Orthopedist For Lower Back Pain
Your primary care physician may recommend a leading orthopedist in your area. You can also ask your friends who they recommend, and search the website of the American Orthopedic Association or the AAOS. Once you have found an orthopedist, you’ll want to reach out to them to get more information on their specialty, experience, and background. If they are an orthopedic surgeon, it’s important to inquire about their training and experience all of which can be done through a consultation.
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Learn About The Different Back Pain Specialists
When a back problem occurs, it’s typically a good idea to first consult with a primary care physician. This doctor will conduct an initial exam and, depending on the findings, he or she may refer you to a spine specialist.
If you are referred to a specialist for chronic back pain, it will likely be to one of the following:
Go To Doctorrowecom For More Videos On Back And Neck Pain
Dr. Vernon Rowe has a web-based informational website that provides in-depth information about each of the neurological conditions that we specialize in, including informational videos like this one, with transcripts, that are unlike anything else on the webthey are NOT SPONSORED by any pharmaceutical company or other commercial entity. Go to DOCTORROWE.COM. The information provided will help you navigate your care wherever you go, with knowledge about the questions you should ask your doctor, and the tests that may be recommended, as well as some tips on how to obtain cost effective care, wherever you live.
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