Dunedin Back Pain Doctor

Next to the common cold, back pain is responsible for more employee sick days than any other condition. Virtually everyone goes through a bout of back pain at some point in their lives. For most people, back pain resolves within a few weeks. For some back pain sufferers, the situation becomes chronic. If your back pain has lasted more than a few months, or is very debilitating, a skilled back pain doctor can help.

An individual should seek medical attention from a Dunedin back pain doctor for back pain results from an auto accident or other trauma that involves neurological issues. Any type of bladder or bowel incontinence accompanied by back pain also requires immediate medical care.

Back Pain Causes

Garden variety back pain often results from muscle strain or spasms of the sort resulting after lifting a heavy object or taking a misstep. That is not the type of back pain prone to becoming chronic. Common causes of more long-term back pain include:

  • Arthritis
  • Fractures
  • Herniated disks
  • Infection
  • Sciatica
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Tumors

Back pain is not always caused by problems in the back per se. Kidney disease can cause back pain, as can certain female reproductive tract issues. Shingles may affect the back’s nerves, causing pain.

Back Pain Risk Factors

Anyone can develop back pain, but certain factors increase the likelihood.

These risk factors include:

  • Age – older people are more prone to back pain
  • Obesity
  • Lack of fitness
  • Bad posture
  • Heredity – certain types of spinal problems have a genetic basis
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Pregnancy
  • Poor quality mattress

Women suffer from back pain more often than men. Anxiety and/or depression is often accompanied by back pain. Those working in occupations requiring heavy lifting are at increased risk for back problems. Back pain often recurs, so people with a previous history of back pain may experience additional episodes. Dunedin back pain doctors have seen smokers have a greater risk of developing back pain, especially spinal degeneration, technically known as lumbar spondylosis. Related circulation and high blood pressure issues exacerbated by smoking may result in spinal degeneration.

Help from a Lawyer

A Dunedin back pain doctor performs a thorough physical examination and takes a patient’s medical history to make a basic diagnosis. Conservative treatments for back pain include over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) to relieved pain and reduce inflammation, as well as doctor-recommended exercises.

For some patients, the doctor may prescribe muscle relaxants or stronger pain medication for short-term use. A diet and exercise program may help reduce back pain’s contributing factors, such as obesity, for the patient. If a fracture is suspected, the doctor may order an X-ray. If the patient does not respond to conservative treatment, further testing is needed, such as a CAT scan or MRI to view the soft tissue.

For most back pain patients, surgery is only indicated as a last resort. If surgery is necessary, many patients may undergo minimally invasive procedures, which involve less time in the hospital and a shorter recuperation period. The doctor’s goal is always to relieve a patient’s pain and restore mobility.