Low Back Pain
It has been estimated that about 80 percent of Americans will experience some form of back pain that disables them at some point in their lives. If you are already suffering from this problem, which is also called lumbago or low back pain, it is important to know that there are different ways to treat the back, and that about 90 percent of the cases, the pain improves significantly without having to resort to surgeries.
The most common causes of low back pain include torn and injured muscles and ligaments often due to trauma (such as car accidents, falls), overuse of muscles and back (such as lifting heavy objects incorrectly, repetitive movements), and / or poor posture. This condition, if left unattended in time, can create scars on the muscles and ligaments that in turn become a source of irritation causing these pains to reoccur. And this is one of the reasons why 50 percent of people who suffer from an episode of back pain have at least one recurrence in less than a year.
The “pinched nerves” also play an important role when talking about back pains especially when these are radiated to the legs. The roots of the nerves that control the functions of the body leave the spine. If the spine deteriorates and develops changes, in turn it will create problems that in the short or long term produce pain. Nerves can be “pinched” because of herniated discs, osteoarthritis (degeneration of the joints) of the vertebrae, subluxations (misalignment of the vertebra or spine) and deformities of the spine such as scoliosis, among others.
The best way to prevent this problem that affects us so much and that has become the most common cause of work incapacity begins with educating ourselves on how to care for the back when doing daily activities. Changes in lifestyle can significantly help prevent and relieve low back pain. You can reduce the risk of back problems and pains by doing exercises that strengthen muscles and protect the spine, as well as maintaining a healthy weight and good posture. Learning to properly lift heavy objects from the floor (bending your knees instead of your back), sleeping on a firm mattress, having a chair with proper back support, and wearing proper shoes are other important factors.
If back pain occurred after a recent injury or trauma, such as a car accident, fall or sports accident, it is important that you see a primary doctor immediately. In these cases, a chiropractor is highly trained to perform orthopedic and neurological examinations that will help determine the reason for the pain and treat the problem. If necessary, the doctor will order further diagnostic studies to further evaluate the injury and / or refer the patient to other specialists for treatment intervention if necessary.
If you already have back pain for more than 2 or 3 days and home care does not help or the pain is recurring it is important that it is equally evaluated by a doctor. Other signs that it is important to go to the doctor is if you are over 50 and your pain is getting worse, you have difficulty sleeping, you suffer from fever, chills, you have lost weight without knowing why and/or you have trouble urinating or control the evacuation.
The type of treatment for low back pain depends on the severity of the problem, the age and health condition of the patient. Among the most common are chiropractic, physical therapy, therapeutic exercises, strong medications and even surgeries. The spinal decompression therapy) has shown 88 percent effectiveness in most of these problems especially the herniated discs.
In Advanced Physical Medicine, our results are surprising even with patients candidates for back surgeries, this treatment has reversed the problem of the disk without needing surgery.
As we already know, prevention is always the best way to live a healthy life outside diseases and illnesses. And in case you already have this or other pain condition, alternative medicine is the best option before resorting to medications. Our Physical Medicine practice offers the most effective and safe ways to treat back conditions (among others) with extraordinary results, making this one of the best alternatives before considering surgery.
What to expect in the process?
Step 1: Finding out What is Causing Your Back Pain.
While low back pain is very common, no two cases are exactly identical. Muscle strains, disc herniations, spinal arthritis, scoliosis, joint injuries and even simple stress are some of the varied causes of back pain. Each of these distinct causes requires very different treatment approaches. This is why the most important first step in treating back pain is clearly defining the diagnosis or source of the pain. This means performing a complete history, physical examination and many times imaging studies like X-Rays or MRIs. Our Physical Medicine office specializes in the advanced diagnosis of back pain. We utilize the latest in techniques and a battery of testing and evaluations to identifying the source of back pain, making the next phase of care that more effective.
Step 2: Reviewing Your Options for Care.
Once our team has determined the source of your pain, the next step is to review your options for care. Our philosophy is that we want you to understand all of your options for treatment, not just those that we offer. We sit down with each patient, for often 45 minutes to an hour, and review the results of their tests and what treatments will work for best in their case. We feel the quick five-minute approach to patient education is a plan for failure.
Unless patients clearly understand the reasons for their pain and what they should do about, they won’t truly partner in the process of getting better. They will often do things that sabotage their improvement and lose motivation if the results are erratic. It’s important to sit down with each patient and thoroughly review their condition and what our recommends are. If more than one specialty is needed for, the patient will be seen in a group consultation with several doctors and/or therapists, each reviewing some aspect of the proposed care.
Step 3: Begin Your Treatment.
Once we have designed and reviewed your treatment program the next step is to rid you of your pain as quickly and safely as possible. This may involve the use of manual therapy, exercises, Medical treatments, physical therapy, manipulation, hydrotherapy, laser, decompression therapy or any number of tools at our disposal. This is one of the advantages of having a number of different treatment options located within the same facility. Each is a weapon against the back pain that often works even better when used together. The result is that our success rates in improving most types of back pain are extraordinarily high.