How Doctors Get To Root Of Your Pain
If you have pain in your lower body and arent sure whether your back or hip is to blame, a good first course of action is to visit your personal doctor. He or she will review your medical history and may perform a series of physical exam tests to get to the root of your pain. Alternatively, your personal doctor may refer you to a doctor who specializes in the hip or spine to make an accurate diagnosis.
Your doctor will ask you to describe your pain, including its location, when it worsens/is relieved, and what the pain feels like .
After listening to your description of your pain, your doctor may have you perform several maneuvers or movements as part of a physical exam. The goal of these maneuvers is to determine what movements recreate your pain. One such maneuver is called the Flexion Abduction External Rotation test, which helps determine if the disorder is sourced in your hip and may illuminate sacroiliac joint problems. During this test, you lie down your back while flexing and rotating your hips. Your doctor may also palpate the area of pain.
Next, your doctor may also order imaging scans, such an x-ray to view your bones or an MRI to view soft tissues , which may help reveal the true nature of the spinal or hip problem. It is important for your doctor to then determine if your complaints and exam findings can be explained by what is seen on the images.
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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.
What Are Some Other Causes Of Lower Back Pain
The shape of your spine, and well as spinal diseases, are other culprits in lower back pain. Depending on a range of factors, your doctor may look for:
Abnormal spinal curvature. A normal spine resembles a gently curved letter S when seen from the side. Abnormal curves include:
- Lordosis, in which the spine curves too far inward at the lower back
- Kyphosis, in which the spine is abnormally rounded in the upper back
- Scoliosis, in which the spine curves from side to side, often in a C shape
Normal and abnormal curves of the spineArthritis. There are more than 100 types of arthritis, many of which can cause lower back pain. The most common types include osteoarthritis , rheumatoid arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis.
Cauda equina syndrome . Compression of the bundle of nerves that forms below the spinal cord in the lumbar spine. It is a rare but serious disorder that requires immediate medical attention and possibly emergency surgery. CES got its name from the fact that the fanned-out bundle of nerves resembles the base of a horses tail.
Discitis or osteomyelitis.Both infections of discs and bone can cause severe pain and require prompt medical attention.
Spinal tumors. When cells divide and multiply unchecked, the result is a tumor. Both benign and malignant tumors can cause lower back pain. They can either originate in the spine or metastasize there, meaning theyve spread from somewhere else in the body.
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What Does A Rheumatologist Do
Rheumatology studies the causes, impact, and treatments of inflammatory autoimmune disorders on the human body. In an autoimmune disorder, a patients own immune system malfunctions and turns its attack on his own healthy body tissue, rather than on invading or external disease agents.
Rheumatologists can be internists or pediatricians who have additional training and qualifications. They have the experience to diagnose and treat many of the over 100 systemic forms of adult, juvenile, and temporal arthritis. They treat mechanical joint, bone, muscle, and soft and connective tissue diseases.
Often referred to as arthritis doctors, rheumatologists treat many other diseases too.
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.
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What Are The Causes Of Lower Back Pain
The vast majority of patients experience back pain because of mechanical reasons. They strain a muscle from heavy lifting or twisting, suffer a sudden jolt in a car accident, experience stress on spinal bones and tissues resulting in a , or suffer from osteoarthritis, a potentially painful degeneration of one or more spinal joints. Common causes for low back pain are:
- mechanical or functional injury
- referred pain
To choose the safest and most effective therapy, doctors need to consider the full spectrum of possible underlying issues, such as inflammatory conditions, fracture, infection, as well as some serious conditions unrelated to the back that radiate pain to the back.
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Hip Pain Treatment At Home
When hip pain is mild, or if it comes and goes, you might be able to treat it at home and find relief. Try these home remedies for hip pain:
Applying heat with a heating pad
Applying ice, alternating between 20 minutes with the ice pack on followed by 20 minutes with the pack off
Hydrotherapy including either taking a hot shower or soaking in a hot tub or whirlpool. At home, you can add Epsom salts to a warm bath for added benefit.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen
Resting the hip including avoiding activities that make the pain worse. Avoid sleeping on your side. If you routinely sleep on your side, use a firm pillow between your knees to help align your hips.
Stretching exercises for the lower back and hip area
If hip pain comes on suddenly and severely, or if home remedies dont alleviate the within a week, you should seek medical attention.
When to See a Doctor for Hip Pain
In certain situations, you should seek immediate medical attention for hip pain. Call 911 if:
You cannot bear weight on the hip joint
The joint appears deformed
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Whats The Role Of Chiropractic Care
Some doctors refer back pain sufferers to a physical therapist right away. But many people with back pain see acupuncturists, massage therapists, or a chiropractor on their own. Experts disagree about the role of chiropractic care, and there are not many high-quality studies to consult about this approach. As a result, there are a number of questions regarding the role of chiropractic care: Should it be a routine part of initial care? Should it be reserved for people who dont improve with other treatments? Are some people more likely to improve with chiropractic care than others?
The answers to these questions go beyond any academic debate about how good chiropractic care is. Estimates suggest that low back pain costs up to $200 billion a year in the US , and its a leading cause of disability worldwide. With the backdrop of the opioid crisis, we badly need an effective, safe, and non-opioid alternative to treat low back pain.
When To Visit A Doctor For Back Pain
Back pain can make your life miserable. It can have many causes as it is made up of a complex structure of vertebrae, ligaments, muscles, nerves, and the spinal cord. Anissue with any of these can cause pain. While it is not recommended that you see a doctor for every instance of backache and pain, some signs indicate it may be time to see a back pain specialist.
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Back Pain Symptoms That May Indicate A Serious Problem
See your doctor if back pain doesnt improve within 2 weeks of developing. There are times when back pain can be a symptom of a serious medical problem.
Symptoms that can indicate a more serious medical problem are:
These tips can help ease back pain when it happens. They can also help you prevent back pain in the first place.
Heavy briefcases, laptop bags, suitcases, and purses can add unnecessary stress and strain to your neck and spine.
Try to reduce what you need to carry, and use bags that distribute the weight more evenly, such as a backpack. If you can, use a bag with wheels to keep weight off your back entirely.
Work your core
The muscles in and around your abdomen and back help keep you upright and carry you through your physical activities. Strengthening them can also reduce the chances of pain, strain, or damage to your back.
Plug strength training workouts with a core focus into your regular fitness routine a few times a week.
Improve your posture
- are a smoker
- have been diagnosed with a specific condition like arthritis
Your mental health also has an effect on your risk of back pain. You may be at a higher risk of back pain if you have a stressful job or have depression and anxiety.
Get Support When You Need It
- Let people know when you need a helping hand. Get family members or friends to help out with tasks you can’t do right now.
- Be honest with your doctor about how the pain affects you.
- If you’ve had to take time off work, talk to your doctor and boss about a gradual return-to-work plan. Find out if there are other ways you could do your job to avoid hurting your back again.
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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:
- Protruding or herniated disk
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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Signs You Need To See A Hip Doctor
Have you ever experienced sudden hip pain that had you reaching to your side? Or maybe you have that slight aching sensation that never seems to go away. Whatever your hip pain is like, theres a good chance that you need to see a hip doctor that specializes in these sorts of conditions. We asked our favorite hip specialists in Nashville, TN this very question when is it time for you to see a hip surgeon?
Treating Lower Back Pain: How Much Bed Rest Is Too Much
Back pain is one of the most common reasons why people visit a health care provider. The good news is that the pain often goes away on its own, and people usually recover in a week or two. Many people want to stay in bed when their back hurts. For many years, getting bed rest was the normal advice. But current studies recommend no bed rest at all and stress that staying in bed longer than 48 hours not only wont help but it may, in fact, actually delay your recovery. Heres why:
Staying in bed wont help you get better faster.If youre in terrible pain, lying down for a day to help ease the distress may seem like a good idea, but moderating your activities and staying active in a limited way is a more effective way to control your symptoms. Research suggests that if you can find comfortable positions and keep moving, you may not need bed rest at all.Research shows that:
- Lying down longer than a day or two day isnt helpful for relieving back pain.
- People can recover more quickly without any bed rest.
- The sooner you start moving, even a little bit, or return to activities such as walking, the faster you are likely to improve.
Who needs bed rest?Almost no one! The only people who might require time in bed are those with unstable spinal fractures awaiting surgery.
When should I see a health care provider?You should see your health care provider right away if:
- Heat or ice
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What Is Low Back Pain
is pain that can occur anywhere below the ribs and above the legs. It is very common. Almost everyone has it at one time or another.
Low back pain can be:
- Acute. This is new pain that can last a few days to a few weeksat the most a few months.
- Chronic. This pain can last for more than a few months. Sometimes it can last for years.
Ease Back Into Daily Activities
- For the first day or two of pain, take it easy. But as soon as you can, get back to your normal daily life and activities.
- Get gentle exercise, such as walking. Movement keeps your spine flexible and helps your muscles stay strong.
- If you are an athlete, return to your activity carefully. Choose a low-impact option until your pain is under control.
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What Is A Back And Spine Pain Doctor Called
The decision to seek treatment for your chronic lower back pain will alleviate the stiffness, soreness, and lack of mobility that affects your daily life. At Pain Treatment Specialists, a back and spine pain doctor is called an interventional pain specialist. Our team works with patients to explore minimally-invasive, yet highly effective cutting-edge treatments designed to avoid surgery and return them to the activities they love.
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Er Average Wait Times
ER wait times are approximate and provided for informational purposes only. If you are having a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.
The ER wait time represents the time it takes to see a qualified medical professional, defined as a Doctor of Medicine , Doctor of Osteopathy , Physician Assistant or Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner .
ER wait times represent a four-hour rolling average updated every 30 minutes, and is defined as the time of patient arrival until the time the patient is greeted by a qualified medical professional. Patients are triaged at arrival and are then seen by a qualified medical professional in priority order based on their presenting complaint and reason for visit.
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Diagnosing Your Hip Pain
If you do decide that seeing a hip surgeon is the right course of action, your doctor may start you off trying to gather a little more information. They may ask you about your medical history, genetics, activity and fitness levels, and possibly just try to get to know you as a person.
They may set you up for some imaging work such as an x-ray or MRI. This will help your hip doctor gain insight into what that hip really looks like
Bonus Tip: Soothe The Pain With Cold And/or Hot
Donât underestimate the pain reduction of simply applying cold packs and/or hot packs to help reduce your lower back pain.
- Cold therapy helps reduce inflammation and pain. Some examples include wrapping ice in a cloth, a pack of frozen peas from the freezer, or a cold gel pack. Always keep at least one layer between your skin and the ice/cold pack.
- Heat therapy helps improve blood flow, relaxation, and pain relief. Heat therapy can come in many forms. Itâs best to try several to find what works best for you. Taking a warm bath or shower, soaking in a hot tub, or using a heating pad or heat wrap are all ways to bring warmth to your lower back.
Whether applying ice or a heat pack, limit applications to 15 or 20 minutes with at least 2 hours of rest in between to protect your skin. Never sleep with a heating pad or frozen pack as this can lead to permanent skin damage.
Hopefully these overlooked remedies can help you try some new approaches to better manage your lower back pain and find lasting relief.
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