There it is again! You get out of bed in the morning and your spine is suddenly too stiff to move. Or you get out of a chair and there’s that chronic ache in the middle of your back. Or you can’t stand up straight because there’s a painful muscle spasm in your lower back. You don’t know why it happens, but you know that it hurts.
You are one of many thousands of Americans who suffer from types of back pain or back injury. Some of the problems are caused by a lifetime of poor posture and bad habits. Some of the problems are caused by accidents and injuries from sports, such as football or other contact games, and some are serious enough to require back surgery.
Getting to the Cause
You finally decide that you’ve had enough pain, and you see a doctor. After blood and urine tests to make sure the problem doesn’t stem from an infection or some other cause, X-rays are usually the next step. Computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans help to confirm symptoms and identify the pain source.
Next comes the physical exam. You will have your reflexes tested with a reflex hammer, usually behind the ankle and at the knee. The doctor will also watch carefully as you walk on your soles, toes, and heels. You will likely be asked to lie flat on your back and elevate your legs, one at a time. For a more visual understanding of what this would look like and further treatment options, check out some AccuraScope videos that dive into unique procedures and treatments for back pain.
Getting to the Relief
All the tests, including a possible pelvic or abdominal exam, will help to determine the cause of your back pain. Now comes the important part. What about relief?
Your doctor will indicate which methods are most likely to give you back pain relief.
They may include:
* adequate sleep on a good, firm mattress, perhaps with a pillow between your
* gentle exercise routine
* nutrition plan that keeps your weight at or near normal
* painkillers and supplements
* whirlpools and electric stimulation
You are not alone if you suffer from back pain, but if you are searching for back health, there are steps you can take – including a thorough physical exam – to make your back problems bearable. Just imagine getting out of bed in the morning without the usual “ouch.” Isn’t it worth a try?read more