New Port Richey Back Pain Doctor
Back pain is one of the most common afflictions, but for most people, the pain subsides within a few weeks and life goes back to normal. They are the lucky ones.
For some people, the back pain does not improve within a reasonable time or is so severe that they cannot function. A New Port Richey back pain doctor can help you get on the road to recovery. Schedule a consultation with a skilled doctor right away to discuss treatment.
Back Pain Causes
Back pain most often results from muscle strain, after lifting a heavy object or taking a bad step. This acute type of back pain usually resolves within a few weeks. Back pain lasting longer than four weeks or so is considered chronic and requires medical evaluation. Other common back pain causes include:
- Herniated disk
- Spinal stenosis
- Spondylolisthesis – vertebrae dislocation
Less common causes of back pain include infection and tumors. Not all back pain is caused by back problems per se. Women with reproductive tract issues may experience back pain, as do patients with kidney stones. Back pain may indicate serious issues such as stomach ulcers or abdominal aortic aneurysms.
Anyone suffering back pain after trauma, such as a motor vehicle accident, should seek medical attention immediately. The same holds true if the back pain affects bladder or bowel function.
Back Pain Risk Factors
While back pain is the second most frequent reason for employee sick days after the common cold, some people are at greater risk of back pain than others. Risk factors predisposing people to back pain include:
- Age – back pain occurs more often in people aged 40 and up
- Depression – depressed individuals have higher incidences of back pain
- Excess weight – unnecessary pounds stress the back and joints
- Sedentary lifestyle – lack of fitness contributes to back pain
Of course, people whose work involves a lot of lifting and other strenuous activity also have a higher risk of back pain.
How a New Port Richey Back Pain Doctor Can Help
The doctor performs a thorough physical examination, along with taking a medical history. The doctor wants to know what kind of movement increases the pain and how the pain affects normal daily functioning. Many patients respond to conservative treatment, including doctor-recommended back exercises and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for pain relief and inflammation reduction, along with cold packs to keep swelling down. A short-term course of prescription muscle relaxants may help.
For patients in severe pain, stronger medication is prescribed for a limited time. If back pain prevents sleep, the doctor may recommend or prescribe a medication to help patients get the rest they need. If the pain does not improve with conservative treatment, additional diagnostic tests are performed. These may include:
- CAT scans
The doctor may order blood tests to determine if the patient has an infection. Once a definite diagnosis is made, appropriate treatment is planned. For some patients, that may mean surgery. Fortunately, many back conditions respond well to minimally invasive surgery, which offers a faster recovery time than traditional, open-back surgery.
If you suffer from long-term or severe back pain, call New Port Richey back pain doctors today and arrange an appointment for an examination.