Treatments For Back Pain From A Specialist
A GP, specialist or physiotherapist may recommend extra treatments if they do not think your pain will improve with self-help measures alone.
These may include:
- group exercise classes where you’re taught exercises to strengthen your muscles and improve your posture
- manual therapy treatments, such as manipulating the spine and massage, which are usually done by a physiotherapist, chiropractor or osteopath
- psychological support, such as cognitive behavioural therapy , which can be a useful part of treatment if you’re struggling to cope with pain
Some people choose to see a therapist for manual therapy without seeing a GP first. If you want to do this, you’ll usually need to pay for private treatment.
Surgery is generally only considered in the small number of cases where back pain is caused by a specific medical condition.
Why You Should Avoid Back Surgery
One of the primary reasons why back surgery should be avoided is the risk. All surgeries carry the risk of infection, excessive bleeding, and nerve injury. Not to mention many people dont like being put under general anesthesia or that they may have to use potentially addictive pills to manage the pain after surgery.29 2020 .
How Often Do I Need To See A Chiropractor
At first, I might see a patient once or twice a week. If the condition is acute, I might see the patient every day to begin. As they improve, I recommend fewer visits and start giving the patient more things to do on their own at home. I want my patients to be as independent as possible. There are patients who have chronic problems and need to come back and see me once in a while. But the great majority of patients have issues that are resolvable, and I may never need to see them again after their condition has improved.
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What Is The Outlook
Most of us will have a bout of nonspecific low back pain at some point in our lives. The severity can vary. However, it is difficult to quote exact figures as to outlook . This is partly because it is so common and many people with back pain do not consult a doctor. Roughly, it is thought that:
- Most nonspecific back pains ease and go quickly, usually within a few weeks.
- In about 4 in 10 cases, the pain has completely gone within four weeks.
- In about 7 in 10 cases the pain has completely gone within one year.
However, once the pain has eased or gone it is common to have further bouts of pain from time to time in the future. Also, it is common to have minor pains on and off for quite some time after an initial bad bout of pain. In a small number of cases the pain persists for several months or longer. This is called chronic back pain.
Family And General Practitioners
When your neck or back pain first starts, your family healthcare provider, general practitioner , or primary care physician is probably your best bet. They may prescribe some painkillers, give you a few exercises to do, and possibly send you to a physical therapist.
If your healthcare provider deems your problem a serious one, they will likely order diagnostic tests and/or refer you on to a specialist such as a rheumatologist or a neurologist. But family healthcare providers can be slow to include new back treatments as they come out.
According to a 2006 study published in Spine Journal. Other than taking your medical history and giving you a physical exam, which are two staples of spine diagnosis, the study found that even as new recommendations were published by leading medical organizations, healthcare providers did not adopt them into their practices.
Because of this, taking a pro-active approach when shopping for spine care may be helpful to you. One way to do this is to research possible diagnostic and treatment options before seeking the healthcare provider. Asking pointed questions while you’re at your appointment is another way.
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Your Pain Extends To Other Body Parts
If you’re experiencing severe back pain that is coupled with pain in other areas such as shooting pain down your leg then you should see a doctor. This could be a sign that you have sciatica, a form of pain that affects the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back and through the buttocks before branching down each leg. This condition usually results from a herniated disk. A doctor will be able to offer a variety of ways that you can relieve this pain.
Natural Ways To Relieve Sciatic Nerve Pain
Ever wake up feeling agonizing pain all the way from your upper thighs to your feet? Do you deal with nagging lower back pain that spreads downward through your buttock and wont seem to quit no matter what you try? You could be dealing with sciatic nerve pain, also called sciatica, which causes painful throbbing in the lower back and limbs. The pain radiates down the body and can be a symptom of spinal stenosis. Its also closely related to piriformis syndrome since the piriformis muscle is near the sciatic nerve.
The problem all starts in the lower spine and can come and go, but one things usually certain when sciatic nerve pain rears its ugly head, youre dealing with a whole lot of discomfort that can quickly ruin your day. Given that the sciatic nerve is the largest single nerve in the body, this makes sense.
The good news is there are remedies for back pain that treat sciatic nerve pain and improve spine health. What are these natural sciatica treatments, and what causes this debilitating lower-body pain? Lets investigate.
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Straight Leg Raise Test
The straight leg raise test determines the source of your pain. The test stretches the sciatic nerve and, if its compressed, the symptoms will occur.
- Lie flat on your back with your legs extended.
- Flex your foot and lift your leg 30 to 70 degrees upwards, keeping your leg straight.
- Repeat with the other leg.
If you experience pain down your leg to your foot or are unable to lift your affected leg as much as the other, this is a positive sciatica test result. If no pain occurs, the test is considered negative and any pain youre experiencing may be due to other spinal conditions.
Write Down Your Symptom History To Save Time During The Appointment
Your doctor is going to ask you several questions about your symptom history, so writing it down in advance will save time during your appointment and ensure you dont leave out any important information. When you have a well-maintained pain diary, you will likely provide more precise and complete information, and avoid missing important symptoms or factors that can be crucial in your diagnosis.
Symptom-related questions your doctor is likely to ask you:
- How would you describe your symptomsis the pain throbbing, searing, electric-like, or dull and localized?
- Do your symptoms extend below the knee?
- How long have you had these symptoms?
- Are they getting worse or staying the same?
- What causes a flareup in your symptoms
- Do you have neurological symptoms, such as difficulty in lifting your foot , numbness, or weakness?
- Does a specific position offer temporary relief or aggravate the pain further? For example, does bending forward make your symptoms better or worse ?
Maintaining a pain diary can be helpful when you have sciatica. The diary doesnt have to be an actual bookuse the notes app on your phone so that you can have the information accessible at all times. Make a note every time you experience a symptom of sciaticawrite down the type, severity, and duration of the symptom.
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What Doctor To See For Sciatica
Sciatica is the term used to describe pain caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve. This nerve, located in your lower back, is formed by a bundling of nerves that emerge from the lower lumbar region of the spine.
The sciatic nerve is the major neural pathway between your brain and your legs and feet. If the sciatic nerve is pinched or irritated, the pain can radiate down the nerve and cause pain or tingling in your legs.
It may be hard to determine what doctor should treat your sciatica since the pain is felt in various locations. Taking a closer look at the causes of sciatica pain can help us determine the appropriate specialist to treat it.
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.
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What Kind Of Doctor Should I See To Heal Sciatic Nerve
four broken ribs and a split bleeding spleen i still have pain on my whole left side still hurts and now my sciatic nerves are hurting i tried chiropractic it got worse do not use aggressive of any kind water therapy is helping the most
besides operation what else i have to do for saiatica
Heat therapy helps, as well as massage therapy. Make sure you also rest and avoid activities that could trigger more back pain.
Beginners yoga and Pilates are gentle exercises that can help.
If you feel pain doing anything stop the activity and take a break.
I cannot stress highly enough that all chiropractors are NOT the same . As a chiropractor, there are several ways to conservatively treat sciatica, however, the treatment must be based on what the cause is, and there are multiple causes of sciatica.
Sciatica as a diagnosis only describes pain going down the leg, therefore further investigation by examination and possibly diagnostic testing may be necessary. I have an article on my website about sciatica here Dr. T on Sciatica.
In cases where the sciatica is severe, I will usually co-treat with an MD, so medication and chiropractic care is used at the same time to control the symptoms.
I have many things on my website in the health topics section on chiropractic and chiropractors that you may not see on another chiropractic website, as my take on subluxation is the modern version of it. http://www.DrTChiro.com
I hope that helps,
How Do I Get Lower Back Pain Relief
Significant lower back pain is best assessed by a medical doctor like a general practitioner . They will make an assessment and make sure there are no warning signs for something serious .
If they suspect something more serious is causing the lower back pain, they may do some scans or blood tests and make a referral to the appropriate specialist for treatment. However, if no serious cause is diagnosed, the referral may be to a pain specialist physician for an assessment and therapy with the use of advanced pain reduction techniques.
If the pain is mild or improving, GPs may:
Reassure that there is no serious cause for concern and advise that the pain should improve with physical activity and simple pain medications.
If the pain persists or returns GPs may:
Use stronger pain medications
Suggest management by an expert pain physiotherapist if the lower back muscles are suspected to be a cause or contributor to the pain or if there is significant weakness associated with lack of movement caused by the pain.
Refer to a pain specialist physician to provide more comprehensive pain management using options like joint and nerve blocks, sympathetic blocks and radiofrequency ablation , pulsed radiofrequency or nerve stimulation and neuromodulation using spinal cord stimulation as mentioned above.
Refer to a neurosurgeon or spine surgeon for an opinion.
Contact us to book an appointment with a pain specialist.
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Lower Back Pain: What Could It Be
Do you have lower back pain? You are not alone. Anyone can experience lower back pain at any time, even if you dont have a prior injury or any of the risk factors. It is not always serious and can often get better on its own. But in some cases pain is your bodys way of telling you that something isnt right.
Learn more about lower back pain and what causes it from rehabilitation physician Akhil Chhatre, M.D., who specializes in back pain in the Johns Hopkins Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
Understanding The Lower Back
The lower back is also called the lumbosacral area of the back. It is the part of the back between the bottom of the ribs and the top of the legs.
Most of the lower back is made up from muscles that attach to, and surround, the spine. The spine is made up of many bones called vertebrae. The vertebrae are roughly circular and between each vertebra is a disc. The discs between the vertebrae are a combination of a strong fibrous outer layer and a softer, gel-like centre. The discs act as shock absorbers and allow the spine to be flexible.
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Back Pain Treatment At Home
The good news is that, given time, most back pain gets better on its own. Over-the-counter pain medication may help ease your symptoms. You can also try applying hot or cold packs to reduce your back pain. Both heat and cold stimulate the nerves so use whichever you prefer and see what works best for you. Doctors more commonly recommend heat to relax tight muscles, but you may find ice reduces swelling. Use your heat or cold pack for about 15 to 20 minutes at a time. Dont apply the heat or cold treatment directly to skin. Rest and avoiding activities that especially put strain on your back may also help while you heal. However, doctors dont generally recommend bed rest when your back hurts.
When To Consider Sciatica Surgery
Sciatica pain is no joke. Originating in your lower back, it can radiate down your hips, buttocks, legs, and even into your feet. Its estimated that about 40 percent of people will experience sciatica over the course of their lives, and for some, it can be quite debilitating. Though most cases will resolve over time, persistent or severe sciatica often requires some type of medical intervention. But how do you know if your sciatica is significant enough to warrant surgery? Here, well discuss some important signs you should consider saying yes to surgery.
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Should I Go To An Orthopedic Doctor For Back Pain
But if the pain is severe, ongoing, or accompanied by other symptoms such as numbness or tingling in your arms or legs, it may be time to see a back doctor. Start with someone who specializes in nonsurgical treatment for back pain. This can include a physiatrist, chiropractor, or orthopaedic physician assistant.
Bring A Friend To Your Sciatica Appointment
If your sciatic pain is severe, it may be difficult to concentrate. Bringing a friend or family member to your appointment to take notes can allow you to focus on the conversation with your doctor without having to worry about forgetting something later.
A friend can also help you prioritize your discussion topics and ensure you dont forget to talk with your doctor about an important matter.
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Specialists Who Treat Back Pain
There are many types of health practitioners that care for patients with spinal conditions, and each has a slightly different role. Selection of the most appropriate type of health professional – or team of health professionals – largely depends on the patient’s symptoms and the length of time the symptoms have been present.
The different types of health professionals who treat back pain tend to have varied training and interests. While it is common to start off with a primary care provider , if the patient’s back pain is resistant to initial treatment then the services of a spine specialist may be necessary.
Sensations That Might Indicate A Medical Emergency
1. Sharp pain rather than a dull ache: This could indicate a torn muscle or ligament, or a problem with an internal organ in the back or side.2. Radiating pain: This pain “moves” or shoots to the glutes or legs, which could indicate a nerve compression condition.
3. Sudden weakness in the legs: Limb weakness can be caused by compressed nerves in the spine due to conditions like sciatica or spinal stenosis. However, sudden leg weakness could also indicate a stroke.4. Incontinence: Back pain paired with inability to control the bowels or bladder might be a sign of serious nerve compression or a spine infection, such as discitis or meningitis.5. Numbness or pins and needles in the groin or glutes: This is known as saddle anesthesia and is also a sign of a serious nerve or spine condition.
If you have leg weakness, incontinence, and numbness together, you might have cauda equina syndrome, a serious illness characterized by spinal cord nerve damage. This is a medical emergency, and patients usually need surgery immediately to decompress the nerves and reduce permanent damage.
Related reading: Get help for back, neck, and leg pain caused by spinal stenosis
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