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When To Seek Help For Back Pain

What Are The Treatment Options For Lower Back Pain

When you should seek urgent help for your backpain

Most episodes of spinal pain are self-limiting. A diligent approach to using simple pain killers, physiotherapy and the gradual return to normal activities should be the strategy first employed.Radiofrequency denervation, a minimally invasive procedure, should not be viewed as the first step for managing mechanical spinal pain. Unfortunately, facet joints cannot be repaired or replaced surgically and it is for this reason that radiofrequency denervations are used instead to help with pain arising from spinal facet joints that are not getting better of its own accord with time.

Do not hesitate to book an appointment with Mr Camilleri if you would like to discuss your treatment options for back pain.

How Tria Neck And Back Strengthening Program Helps You Heal Your Back Pain

What many people dont realize about chronic back pain is that it can often be solved without surgery. Yes, sometimes surgery is the suggestion but only after non-surgical options have stopped working.

At TRIA Neck and Back Strengthening Program our spine strengthening program focuses on active physical therapy which focuses on movement-based activities. This is a proven method for healing chronic back pain just ask any of the 200,000-plus patients weve worked with over the past 30 years.

Through this program, youll do an intake with a doctor or physical therapist who specializes in spine care and chronic pain. Theyll work with you to determine the best pain management treatment plan. Then youll work one-on-one with a physical therapist.

Most programs are six to 12 weeks long, and your therapy happens at one of our facilities that features state-of-the-art medical exercise equipment. As part of your care, youll learn about what chronic pain is and how the brain processes it.

Youll also focus on body mechanics such as proper lifting, standing and sleeping all the things that can contribute to back pain but you probably dont think about. And as you progress, youll learn how to continually improve and maintain your back strength on you own so you can keep back pain at bay long-term.

Want to learn more about TRIA Neck and Back Strengthening Program? Watch this short video.

Things You Should Know

Ideas about back pain have changed a lot over recent years. It is a good idea to read more about back pain as you may be surprised to discover that some of the things you thought were bad for the back are actually not a problem . Examples include:

  • sitting is not bad for the back
  • poor posture cannot injure the back
  • the back is designed to bend, twist and lift
  • moving and using the back makes it more healthy.

Read more at 10-facts-about-back-pain or 15 things you didnt know about back pain.

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If Surgery Isnt Recommended A Pain Specialist Is Your Next Stop

If, despite the treatments youve tried, pain persists, consider making an appointment with a pain management physician, which is a doctor with specialized training in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of pain. Some may further specialize in particular types of pain, such as back pain.

The pain management doctors in the of HSS are board-certified in pain management and have completed additional graduate training. Their first step is to do a thorough evaluation, discuss how your pain is impacting your everyday activities and life goals, then develop a customized approach to treatment. This might include physical therapy and at-home exercises.

The HSS team recommends prescription medications only when medically necessary and even then, they aim to prescribe as small a dose as possible for as short a period as possible to help prevent dependency problems. Its important to describe your symptoms, goals and concerns and find a pain management team that treats you with compassion and respect.

What You Can Do About Back Pain

How to Treat Chronic Back Pain

Acute back pain the kind that might start after youve twisted your back, for instance typically gets better after a few days to a few weeks.

You can try to ease your pain by:

  • Taking over-the-counter pain relievers.
  • Applying ice or a heat pad to your back.
  • Staying as active as you comfortably can. This doesnt mean you should exercise vigorously, but its best to avoid bed rest, which can actually make the pain worse. You might take short walks or try gentle stretches.

Read Also: How Do I Make My Back Pain Go Away

Concerned About Your Back Pain Symptoms We Can Help

Most back pain goes away on its own. But if your back pain has been lingering for more than two weeks without improvement, its been coming and going for some time, or if youre experiencing any alarming symptoms, dont delay the care you need. After all, its much easier to take care of yourself when you can move without pain.

Think TRIA Neck and Back Strengthening Program may be right for you? Schedule a consultation.

Not ready for an intensive physical therapy program? Start with physical therapy.

When To Seek Help For Your Back Pain

When back pain occurs, the consideration process must start. Back pain can arise from multiple causes, yet one should seek medical advice immediately when the pain becomes severe. When injuries occur and the back gives messages indicating that a problem exists, we must also seek medical advice. Injuries often cause neurological conditions.

Also Check: Is Ibuprofen Good For Back Pain

What Should You Do Advice From A Physical Therapist

Its unusual to have a Physical Therapist in the Emergency Department. PTs are good at listening, explaining pain and helping you to problem solve what to do at home.

When I see people in the ED, this is what I suggest:

  • self management like heat/ice for symptom relief
  • If meds are appropriate, use them if you have pain, but theyre not needed if the pain is tolerable
  • Progressively increase activity as you are able
  • Follow up with a PT
  • In the absence of trauma or true neurological loss there arent many good reasons to go to the emergency room.

    Trauma doctors are not trained in pain management, and with the opioid medication situation causing them to prescribe more cautiously than they used to, there is a good chance you will still leave with your pain unchanged.

    Who Will Likely Refer You To A Physical Therapist

    When should you seek urgent help for your back pain?

    Generally, the first course of action for ongoing back pain is six weeks of physical therapy, plus at-home treatments like those mentioned earlier in the article.

    can also do assessments of how youre sitting, standing and movingand show you how to improve your workspace and posture, for instance. And theyll create an exercise or movement program thats designed to help your back feel better.

    Also Check: What To Do For Neck And Back Pain

    When To Visit Your Doctor

    If an accident or fall causes you injury, seek medical assistance immediately. Delaying the problem can lead to further complications. If you lift a heavy object and your back starts to ache, seek help. If the muscles in your legs cannot provide support and stability to stand upright on your toes, seek help. You need medical assistance if you feel weakness, tingling, or numbness in the lower trunk, legs, and back. During sleep hours, if your back gives you problems, you endure fevers, and if you experience chills, seek help.

    If you notice pain traveling down your arm or leg and back pain, seek help. If you feel joint pain or notice swelling in all areas, including the back, seek help.

    If you feel pain in the back, which you believe is not an emergency, you should rest your back. When pain starts from everyday activities, you have over-exerted the joints, muscles, etc. When treating the problem at home, relax in a comfortable position. Lie on your back and place a pillow under your knees. You can also try resting on your back while placing your feet on your couch or chair. The knees should bend at a 90-degree angle. Roll a towel up and situate it so that it supports your neck.

    How Can Back Pain Be Prevented

    In most cases, you can prevent back pain by making changes to your lifestyle.

    Doing exercise helps to keep your back flexible and strong. Exercise improves your posture and helps your muscles to support your spine. Exercises that can help prevent back pain include:

    • low-impact aerobic exercise
    • strengthening exercises, such as lifting weights, climbing stairs or hiking hills
    • stretching exercises, such as Pilates and yoga

    Maintaining a good posture is important when you sit at home, in your workplace, or in your car. Try not to slouch, and use equipment that supports your back, such as a lumbar support or footstool if you need.

    Keeping a healthy weight is also important. Excess fat can strain your back and lead to back pain, sciatica and inflammation.

    Practise safe lifting in your home or workplace. Whenever you pick up a heavy load, squat down, hold the object close to your body, and lift with your legs.

    In addition:

    • Quit smoking Smoking increases your chances of developing persistent back pain.
    • Relax Learning relaxation techniques and mindfulness can help to reduce stress and muscle tension in your back.
    • Avoid high heels wearing high heels can place strain on your back.

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    When To See Your Doctor About Back Pain

    Although rare, back pain can be a sign of a more serious condition. If you experience any of the following ‘red flag’ symptoms with your back pain then please see a doctor urgently.

    ‘Red flag’ symptoms see a doctor urgently if you have:

    • numbness in the groin or buttocks
    • loss of bladder or bowel control
    • redness or swelling on your back
    • difficulty walking
    • constant pain, especially at night
    • pain that is getting much worse, or spreading up your spine
    • numbness or pins and needles in both legs
    • feeling unwell with your back pain, such as a fever or significant sweating that wakes you from sleep.

    See your GP or physiotherapist if:

    • You have back pain that is not getting better after a few weeks of trying simple exercises and following the tips for a healthy back.
    • Your pain is worse in your lower leg than your back and is not easing.
    • You have weakness and numbness in one of your legs.
    • You have a rash in the same area as your pain.

    Common Causes Of Chronic Back Pain

    Treatments for Back Pain

    Chronic back painis usually age-related, but can also result from a prior injury. The mostcommon causes include:

    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.

    Back Pain Causes and Treatments Webinar | Stephanie Van, M.D.

    Chronic back pain is a persistent source of discomfort for many adults. In this webinar, our expert Stephanie Van, M.D., discusses common causes of back pain along with strategies for relief.

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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.

    What Are The Symptoms Of Low Back Pain

    Low back pain is classified as acute and chronic. Acute low back pain lasts from a few days to a few weeks. Most acute low back pain will resolve on its own. Chronic low back pain lasts for more than 3 months and often gets worse. The cause of chronic low back pain can be hard to find. These are the most common symptoms of low back pain. Symptoms may include discomfort or pain in the lower back that is:

    • Aching
    • Protruding or herniated disk
    • Disease

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    What Research Is Being Done

    The mission of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke is to seek fundamental knowledge of the brain and nervous system and to use that knowledge to reduce the burden of neurological disease. NINDS is a component of the National Institutes of Health , the leading supporter of biomedical research in the world.

    As a primary supporter of research on pain and pain mechanisms, NINDS is a member of the NIH Pain Consortium, which was established to promote collaboration among the many NIH Institutes and Centers with research programs and activities addressing pain. On an even broader scale, NIH participates in the Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee, a federal advisory committee that coordinates research across other U.S. Department of Health and Human Services agencies as well as the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.

    Who Should I See For Lower Back Pain

    Direction Specific Exercises for Low Back Pain | Directional Preference

    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.

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    Questions To Ask Your Doctor

    Whether you’re seeing your primary care doctor or sitting in the emergency department, a clinician is going to tell you what they think is the best path for your treatment. They might suggest certain diagnostic tests, medication, or action steps based upon their understanding of the issue. But it’s important to remember that health care is a team effort requiring the participation of the patient: you. MCG experts highly suggest that you ask questions so that you and your clinician can make empowered, informed decisions together. Here are some questions that you can bring with you to your clinic or hospital visit:

    • What is this test for?
    • How many times have you done this procedure?
    • When will I get my results?
    • Why do I need this treatment or drug?
    • Are there any alternatives?
    • Will this medicine interact with any meds I’m currently taking?
    • When and how should I take my medicine?
    • What should I do if I miss my dose?
    • What are the possible complications or side effects?
    • What can I do to help manage my care?
    • What should I avoid doing to prevent my back pain from getting worse?
    • What should I do if my symptoms start?
    • Where and when should I get help if I get worse?

    Of course, this is not an exhaustive list so if there are any questions that come up for you before, after, or during the appointment, don’t be afraid to ask. Back pain is frustrating, but you don’t have to suffer alone.

    When Surgery Is Necessary

    When conservative treatment for low back pain does not provide relief or neurologic symptoms are worsening or severe, surgery may be needed. Candidates for surgery present any of the following:

    • Reasonably good health
    • Back and leg pain limits normal activity or impairs quality of life
    • Progressive neurologic deficits develop, such as leg weakness, numbness or both
    • Loss of normal bowel and bladder functions
    • Difficulty standing or walking
    • Medication and physical therapy are ineffective

    If surgery is recommended, neurosurgeons have a variety of options available to help relieve pressure on the nerve roots. If several nerve roots and discs are causing the pain or if degeneration and instability exist in the spinal column, the neurosurgeon may choose: a minimally invasive approach a more open decompression or fusing the vertebrae together with bone grafts and stabilizing them with instrumentation, including metal plates, screws, rods and cages, depending on the extent of disease. After such surgery, patients may gain restored mobility in the back, including the ability to bend over. In addition, patients may require postoperative physical therapy.

    The benefits of surgery should always be weighed carefully against the risks. Although a large percentage of patients with low back pain report significant pain relief after surgery, it is not guaranteed that surgery will help.

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