What is Back Pain?
Back pain is a common problem that affects many people. In most cases, the pain will disappear after a few weeks but in some instances, back pain can become chronic and will require the right treatment to help ease or solve the problem. The most common form of back pain is in the lower back although the pain can be experienced along with the spine and anywhere between the neck and the hips.
In most cases, the pain is not caused by anything serious but it can either be related to muscle pain or problems with the spine.
Diagnosing Back Pain
Your specialist will begin to diagnose back pain by asking a few questions and asking for the patient to describe the type of pain using a scale. They will often ask how long the pain has been present for and that can often help to determine whether they back pain is something that will disappear on its own or if it requires further treatment.
A physical examination will be given and this will check for movement, muscular pain or whether the problem is related to the spine. In some cases, patients are sent for an x-ray or an MRI scan, in order t determine where the problem is as well as its severity.
Treating Back Pain
Back pain can prove to be debilitating in some cases and so, painkillers will be prescribed and in some instances, muscle relaxants will be given.
Some patients will be referred for specialist treatments which can include exercise classes, manual therapy and in severe cases, surgery may be required to rectify the problem although this is only an option should there be a medical reason for the pain such as sciatica or a slipped disc.
Managing Back Pain
Patients can also help to ease their pain by managing it at home. This can be done by trying to remain active. While it might seem difficult with back pain, it is important that patients keep moving and do all they can to continue with normal activities.
There are some simple back exercises that can be carried out at home while hot and cold packs can help to reduce the pain. However, it is vital that patients do not overdo things.