Anyone with back pain knows how bad it can be at times. Many suffer without the help of a doctor or orthopaedics specialists trained in these matters. Diagnosis is key to getting the best treatment for back pain, joint pain, and even hand & wrist pain. Learn what to expect about the diagnosis as well as the treatments such as orthopedic surgery in Clifton, NJ that is currently available to patients.
The Causes Of Back Pain
There are many causes of back pain; it could start from something simple like posture. Any daily activity such as lifting or sitting too long could become a problem. These issues can be worse if a person is not in good condition physically. Other issues that cause pain comes from the disks of the back as they rupture or begin to bulge. When there are problems with the disks, there is pain involved with the nerves they come in contact with. There are also medical conditions that cause back pain. Arthritis is a problem that affects all the joints. Osteoporosis is a disease where the bones are weakened and more likely to break; there can be breaks in the bones of the back. Scoliosis, in which the spine curves, can be painful for a person.
Testing For Back Pain
The doctor will perform several tests to help find the reason for the pain. First, they will ask for any information such as was the back hurt in a fall. Then, an analysis of the rate of motion someone has–this is sitting, standing and walking. There is a scale of pain, with zero being the lowest and ten being the highest. A person tells the doctor what the level is and then tests are performed such as X-rays to show any problems with the bones. Blood tests let the doctor know there are no infections present. A bone scan is done to help analyze the bones; CT scans show more, such as bones, muscles, and nerves.
Treatment can take many forms. Medication can be a big help to address the pain. There are many over the counter pain relievers that will work like ibuprofen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs. Use a hot or cold compress; this can be a heating pad, water bottle or ice pack. There are many creams, gels, and sprays that can be put directly on the skin at the site of pain.
For pain that does not get better, there are other treatments a doctor can use. First, there are prescription medications that can include a prescription NSAIDs, hydrocodone or a muscle relaxant. The doctor may suggest seeking physical therapy; a physical therapist can help put together a plan of exercise that will work with strength, mobility and posture–they can also do electrical stimulation for the muscles. Surgery is used if there is no relief from other methods and this could take the form of fusion of vertebrae or putting in an artificial disk.
There are some alternative treatment options to consider. Acupuncture uses needles that are put into specific places on the body and massages can be of help as it releases tension. A visit to a chiropractor might offer help; they will work on the spine and other bones and joints to reposition them.