Back Pain Symptoms
If you've landed on this page, chances are you have some upper or lower back pain symptoms and you want some relief. This FREE book is a great resource for anyone suffering with back pain. If however, you've tried all the conservative measures at home and you haven't found relief, you might be wondering who to see.
Who Do You See?
First of all, determine who you want to see, a chiropractor or your regular medical doctor. That's a matter of personal preference because they do use different methods of treatment. Personally, I feel that a chiropractor or osteopathic doctor will be more likely to seek out the ultimate cause of your lower back pain symptoms rather then just treat the pain. But that's just my personal opinion. I don't like taking medications and frequently, though not always, medical doctors use medications and drugs as their first line of defense.
However, If you aren't getting better with one healthcare provider, go see another one. To me it just makes sense to follow your intuition and use some common sense,
you know your body best.
Diagnosing Causes of Lower Back Pain
Questions The Doctor May Ask
You could have a medical condition that is causing your pain. For example, the kidneys lie against the back wall and if you have a kidney stone or an infection that could be the cause of your lower back pain. Pay attention to the location of your pain and when it occurs. The type of pain you have, is it sharp or dull? What relieves the pain or what increases the pain? These are all questions that your healthcare provider will ask you. Trying to diagnose the cause of upper or lower back pain symptoms is kind of like putting the pieces of a puzzle together.
Observations and Examination
After taking a detailed history as indicated by the above questions, the doctor will most likely perform a visual examination of your back. He will observe your posture, watch the way you walk, he will feel or palpate the back looking for any abnormal signs or pain. The doctor will then determine which tests might be needed to further help hime diagnose your condition.
Possible Tests and Procedures
The simplest one is an x-ray which will help him visualize the vertebrae, disc and ligaments. He will be looking for calcifications, fractures or vertebrae that seem to be out of place.
If he suspects disc involvement, like a herniated disc, an MRI might be done.
This test involves a magnetic tube that can take slice type pictures of soft tissue. Fortunately, they now have "open" MRI machines for patients with claustrophic issues.
For nerve related pain a Myelogram may be done. This involves injecting a dye into the spinal cord that allows the doctor to see if there is any nerve damage or entrapment. In some cases an EMG may be done as well to evaluate the electrical activity of muscle fibers and help identify problems with nerve supply to the muscles.
Once your doctor has the information from the above tests (he/she may not order all of them) it will help them come up with a working diagnosis and a treatment plan. At least then you will know if you are dealing with structural problem with your back, a problem with your health or something in between.
Just knowing the cause of your lower back pain symptoms is half the battle to getting better.
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