Tampa Bay Back Pain Doctor
Back pain accounts for more lost work days than any other ailment. Most people suffering from back pain recover within a few weeks and life goes back to normal. For others, back problems are ongoing. Because of the pain, these individuals may not be able to work, drive, or care for loved ones.
The right diagnosis and treatment is necessary for back pain sufferers to regain their quality of life. A Tampa Bay back pain doctor can help relieve your pain and get you on the road to recovery.
Back pain results from all sorts of triggers. While there is no way to eliminate the risk of back pain, there are precautions that lessen the likelihood. Avoiding weight gain, smoking, and a sedentary lifestyle lowers the odds against back pain development and keeps people healthier overall. The most common cases of back pain include:
- Accidents – motor vehicle, slip and fall and similar accidents are the initial reasons for back pain for many patients. Anyone involved in an accident that experiences back pain should schedule an examination as soon as possible for treatment and legal purposes
- Arthritis – osteoarthritis in the back can cause spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spine
- Herniated discs – also known as slipped, ruptured or bulging discs, this is one of the most frequent causes of back pain, especially in the lower back. The gel-like center of the disc starts pushing against the hard outer portion, causing pain
- Fractures – broken bones in the back are not necessarily caused by accidents. Osteoporosis often results in compression fractures, when vertebra decreases significantly in height
- Muscle strain – a sudden twist or lifting a heavy item easily strains muscles and ligament, resulting in acute back pain
A Tampa back doctor conducts numerous tests to diagnose a back problem. The first step involves asking the patient to stand, sit, walk and observing their abilities. The patient rates the scale of pain for each action. Blood is taken to check for infection, which can cause back issues.
Testing for back problems includes:
- X-rays – reveal any fractures or arthritic changes
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Computed tomography – both CTs and MRIs may reveal soft tissue issues affecting the back, or herniated discs
In some cases, the doctor may run a bone scan, especially if osteoporosis is suspected.
Acute pain from muscle strain usually resolves within a few weeks, and the patient may find over-the-counter pain relievers, oral and topical, sufficient for pain control. The doctor may prescribe a muscle relaxant. For severe cases, doctors may prescribe strong pain medication for short-term use.
Physical therapy is an integral part of back pain treatment. Depending on the diagnosis, the back doctor may recommend bracing or other therapies.
Surgery for back pain relief is generally a last resort, but it is necessary for some patients. For example, surgery is an effective way to relieve pain from a herniated disk if non-surgical therapies failed to work.
Contact a Doctor
If you suffer from back pain or related issues, contact a Tampa back doctor who can diagnose the cause of your back ailment and offer treatment options.