There is a good reason why your doctor while examining you for back pain then asks you to rate, by giving numbers, just how painful it is when your back hurts. Assessing your hurting back gives your physician information about where exactly the pain comes from. You may be asked if the pain is accompanied by muscle spasms.
Muscle Spasms Help To Define Your Pain
If you are experiencing muscle spasms during the testing period, give this information to your doctor. That information allows the physician to narrow the reason for your unique pain. Your feedback also helps your doctor to arrive at a more accurate understanding of your condition in order to form a treatment plan for your pain.
You could undergo blood tests to determine whether you're suffering from an infection and associated pain. X-ray testing generally reveals the alignment of your bones. Sometimes the testing shows an onset of arthritis. X-rays alone, however, do not point to problems with your muscles, nerves, spinal cord, or disks. In that case, you might have to undergo CT or MRI scans.
CT Or MRI Scans
Both of these tests can reveal problems with bones, muscles, tissue, ligaments, and even your blood vessels. The tests can also reveal possible nerve problems or a herniated disc. The latter possibility results in a painful type of rupture involving the fibrocartilage layer of the disc that is between the spinal vertebrae in your lumbar area.
A bone scan may be used to identify any bone tumors or possible osteoporosis lurking around, which sometimes cause compression fractures. Nerve testing for compression caused by a herniated disk could reveal the source of your excruciating back pain because the test might show a narrowing of your spinal cord area.
Treatment Of Back Pain
Treatment of back pain initially begins with over-the-counter medications like anti-inflammatory drugs, which may work for some patients but not for all patients. When that doesn't work, your physician might have you use muscle relaxants to decrease your pain. Sometimes, depending upon your pain level, you might be given prescription medications. Narcotic drugs and antidepressants are known to help lower your pain level when you suffer from chronic back pain. It's best not to take opioids every day, if at all, for back pain due to its history of opioid addiction that ultimately results in death. Some patients find relief in cortisone injections around their spinal cord area. That application is something you should discuss with your doctor since the relief reportedly lasts for no more than a few months.
Physical therapy is an effective treatment for all types of back pain. The physical therapist will evaluate your condition and develop a series of exercises that involve stretching and massaging among other treatments. You'll also be given exercises to perform at home.
Contact a back pain management facility to learn more.