Wesley Chapel Back Pain Doctor
When it comes to sick days from work, only the common cold keeps more workers home than back pain. Virtually everyone experiences back pain at some time in their lives, but for most, the pain resolves within a few weeks and life goes back to normal. For some people, the pain does not go away, and they become chronic back pain sufferers.
If you live with back pain for more than few weeks, or if the pain is so severe you cannot function, a Wesley Chapel back pain doctor can make a diagnosis and treat your pain. You should see an experienced doctor immediately if the back pain results from a car accident or other trauma or if the pain affects your bladder or bowels.
Back Pain Causes
The majority of back pain incidents result from strained muscles or ligaments, often caused by heavy lifting, a quick misstep or another unusual movement. These are the types of back pain incidents that generally improve within a few weeks. Other common back pain causes Wesley Chapel back pain doctors see include:
- Herniated disks
- Joint or bone abnormalities
- Pinched nerves
- Poor posture
- Spinal stenosis
Back Pain Risk Factors
Some people are more vulnerable to back pain than others. If a patient has previously gone through an episode of back pain, there is an increased risk of recurrence. Factors influencing the odds of developing back pain include:
- Age – middle-aged and older people are more likely to suffer back pain than younger individuals
- Lack of fitness
- Obesity – additional weight stresses the back and joints, leading to pain
- Anxiety and/or depression
- History of alcohol abuse
- History of steroid or opiate abuse.
If smokers need an additional reason to quit, back pain is on the list of conditions caused or exacerbated by smoking. Smoking inhibits circulation, and the intervertebral disks may not receive the nutrients necessary to keep them in healthy shape. Degenerated or herniated disks can cause serious back pain.
How a Wesley Chapel Back Pain Doctor Can Help
A doctor thoroughly examines a patient and takes a complete medical history to determine the cause of back pain. Diagnostic tests may include an X-ray, to ensure the pain is not the result of a fracture, or an MRI to examine the soft tissues. If the doctor suspects an infection is the culprit, a blood test and subsequent antibiotics may ease symptoms. Most patients do well with conservative treatment, consisting of exercises recommended by the doctor and over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) for pain relief.
The doctor may prescribe muscle relaxants on a short-term basis to help patients, or stronger pain medication if warranted. Some patients may benefit from a carefully fitted back brace. If the patient still experiences back pain after three months, it is considered chronic. Stronger measures are necessary, including the use of steroid injections for long-term pain relief and a physical therapy regimen. Most patients do not require surgery, but in some cases, surgery is necessary for pain relief and mobility restoration. The doctor discusses all options with patients and carefully explains all procedures.
If you suffer from back pain, contact a Wesley Chapel back pain doctor and schedule an appointment for an examination.