According to the National Institutes of Health, 8 out of 10 people experience some form of back pain during their lifetimes. Many forms of minor back pain can be treated at home with rest and over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen. But when the pain is severe, lasts for more than a couple days, or is caused by an injury, it may be time to get in touch with a pain care specialist such as those you’ll find at Resolute Pain Solutions.
The spine is a complex and intricate system of vertebrae, joints, and connective tissue — the cartilage that makes up the disks between the vertebrae. This incredible anatomical network carries messages between the brain and the rest of the body, and works seamlessly with the systems that surround it. Because the spinal system is so complex, the potential causes of back pain can also be complicated.
Common causes of back pain include:
Despite the wide range of conditions that can contribute to back pain, only a small percentage of patients are found to have a clearly identifiable underlying cause: fewer than two percent have disc herniation, and even fewer have pain caused by life-threatening disease.
Because there are numerous potential causes of back pain, effective back pain treatment begins with a comprehensive medical history and physical examination. The doctor will ask the patient a wide range of questions, and may ask the patient to perform some basic physical maneuvers, such as lifting the legs while lying on his or her back, or walking on his or her toes. The physician may also order tests including x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or blood tests.
After an initial diagnosis has been made, treatment will proceed based on the doctor’s experience as well as after obtaining a full understanding of the patient’s specific condition. It is important to understand that every patient’s back pain is different, and that back pain may be treated with a combination of therapies, which might include:
Because any treatment carries the potential for side-effects or complications, it is important that the patient discusses with his or her physician any pre-existing conditions or injuries as well as current medications before undergoing any new treatment.
References consulted for this article:
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