Keystone Back Pain Doctor
Sooner or later, nearly everyone goes through a bout of back pain. Most people will recover within a few weeks, but for some, the pain lasts longer or becomes chronic. If your back pain does not improve – or becomes worse – within a week or two, it is time to seek medical attention.
A Keystone back pain doctor can diagnose the cause of your back pain and devise a suitable treatment plan. Call a skilled doctor right away to learn your options and begin your treatment.
Back Pain Causes
Most back pain results from muscle strains. A person takes a bad step, lifts a heavy object or takes part in activities for which they are not physically conditioned – the “weekend warrior” syndrome. However, there are other, more serious and potentially long-term causes of back pain. These include:
- Degenerated disks
- Herniated discs
- Spinal deformity
- Spinal stenosis
If back pain results from trauma, such as a motor vehicle accident or serious fall, the patient should go to a doctor at once.
Some people are at higher risk of developing back pain than others. Risk factors include gender, with females more likely to suffer back pain than males. Pregnant women, especially, may experience back pain as the fetus grows. Other risk factors include:
- Genetics – back issues may run in families
- Leg pain
- Poor posture
- Sedentary lifestyle
Occupational hazards are a huge risk factor in back pain, with workers who must perform a lot of heavy lifting or stand for hours facing increased odds of back pain. Back pain also affects people employed at desk jobs, if they sit for long hours in chairs with little or no back support.
How a Keystone Back Pain Doctor Can Help
A back pain doctor conducts a thorough physical examination, including observation of the patient’s movement. The patient is asked about the type of pain they are dealing with, whether it is dull, sharp or worse after sitting and improves with movement. That information helps the doctor identify the pain’s source.
For example, patients suffering from spinal stenosis, or spinal narrowing, may feel better if they walk while leaning on something.
Patients with arthritis may feel terrible discomfort after getting out of bed and for some time afterward, but the pain lessens as they move throughout the day. The doctor may order diagnostic tests, including:
- CT scans
Treatment and Recovery Options
Many patients recover well with conservative treatment, including heat and ice treatment, massage and physical therapy. Over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or naproxen may provide pain relief and reduce inflammation. Some patients may benefit from temporary back bracing. The doctor may prescribe various medications depending on the individual patient’s issues.
Muscle relaxants may aid those with strained muscles or ligaments, while antidepressants may help those struggling with this problem. If a patient cannot sleep because of back pain, the doctor may recommend or prescribe sleeping formulations.
If over-the-counter pain medication does not offer relief, stronger pain medication may help in the short-term.
Back pain persisting three months or more is considered chronic. Corticosteroid injections into the back may ease pain for the long-term. In other cases, surgery is needed. The doctor discusses all options with the patient.
Contact a Back Pain Doctor
If you suffer from back pain, call a Keystone back pain doctor to arrange an appointment and evaluation.