The Trouble With Treating Chronic Back Pain
There are several types of back pain and even more causes. An injury can have short or long term effects, some conditions develop on their own without a trigger and are treated over time and others need emergency treatment.
When is it time to worry about chronic back pain? If you have pain radiating down one leg, especially if accompanied by numbness, tingling or loss of control of your bowel or bladder, see your doctor immediately. These symptoms may indicate a serious compression of the spinal cord or its nerves and require an immediate diagnosis so treatment can be started to preserve nerve function.
Don’t get frustrated with your doctor if she won’t send you for an MRI or X-ray. There’s no evidence that either test can help diagnose uncomplicated lower back pain. And even if it shows a disk problem, that doesn’t mean you need surgery. Studies find that 64 per cent of 45-year-olds have disk herniation without pain. Instead, your doctor should perform a series of movement tests, such as having you push your legs against her hand, lean over, bend side to side, lift your legs, etc., to try and determine the extent of your problem and whether any nerves are involved.
If you experience severe back pain-and you’ve already tried natural and over-the counter remedies, physical therapies and exercise-here are some treatments you might want to discuss with your doctor.