Back pain can be such a pain in the, well, back. It is caused by a variety of reasons and can prevent you from doing your everyday work. Some cases of back pain are due to infection--sometimes jointly causing kidney pain, neck pain, knee pain and joint pain--while most cases involve bad posture. How do doctors go about treating your back pain? Read on to find out about back pain causes, diagnosis, and treatment.
- Causes. Back pain can be caused by a string of different things, but basically they involve pressure and stress on your spine, hipbones or back muscles. Simple muscle strains are the most common causes of back pain, simply because the muscles that support your spine are in constant use. You stretch them when standing, you use them when sitting, and you use them even when you're lying down for sleep. More often than not, incorrect posture is the culprit for straining our back muscles. Lack of exercise also contributes to this strain, because it stuns the muscles which get shocked when urged to move suddenly. However, muscle strain is not the only cause of back pain, because it can be anything from ligament strain to injury to spinal nerves, bones or discs. It is best to consult your doctor to see which area of the back is affected.
- Diagnosis. Back pain diagnosis isn't very particular, and you may have to undergo several tests for your doctor to pinpoint the exact cause of your back pain. Unless you are paralyzed by a back injury, your doctor will simply check your back's nerves and muscles and see the range of motion of these parts. He may also touch local parts of your back to see which parts are aching or are stressed. He may also administer blood and urine tests just to check if the back pain isn't caused by any other infection throughout the body. In severe cases, an X-ray or an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) may be administered to check if you have any deformities of the bones or abnormalities in your back muscles. They can also help in detecting damage in connecting tissues, which can be causing your back problems.
- Treatments. After your doctor has diagnosed the specific cause of your back pain, he will administer treatments directed towards that certain problem. Basic treatment can involve lots of rest, an ice pack and aspirin to reduce pain and inflammation. Mild to moderate causes of back pain would require physical exercises that improve the general well being of your back. Physical therapy may also be able to help in alleviating pain in these areas. If the pain is keeping you from doing your normal activities, then your doctor may prescribe medications for pain relief. In severe cases involving the spine and other affected bones in the back, a chiropractic surgeon may be necessary to correct the ailment.
To prevent yourself from experiencing back pain in the future, make sure to practice good posture when standing, sitting and lying down. Also, make it a point to exercise so that your muscles will be used to being strained and would not ache from experiencing it. When you back starts to ache, immediately consult a doctor about what to do to prevent further damage.