Over 80% of people at some time in their lives will experience back pain of some level and origin. Pain in the back can present as anything from localized soreness to excruciating and even debilitating pain. Back pain may show up suddenly with devastating consequences, or develop slowly starting with a small pain in the lower back. It may go away quickly on its own or linger for months becoming chronic.
Dealing with back pain initially, there is generally some benefit from over the counter pain killers, but the consensus is that movement, if possible, is necessary for improvement. Commonly, back pain is amplified when a person is immobile for a while, then suddenly tries to sit or stand up. Keeping the supporting muscles around any back injury mobile and flexible is almost always beneficial to some degree. Consequently, in the case of mild back pain, usually keeping it mobile is best. For severe back pain, always consult a physician to determine what activities are acceptable to help manage back pain without further injury.
If you have had some kind of accident and begin to suffer back pain afterward, you should contact your doctor without much delay. Because while most back pain goes away on its own, pain resulting from a serious accident can progress to something debilitating. Some back injury pain can only be diagnosed and treated with a thorough examination including xrays.
Chiropractic treatment may be helpful for back pain that has not resulted from an accident, but is present from over taxing physical activity that has resulted in minor strain. But Chiropractic treatment is not advisable as initial treatment for back pain that is the result of an accident. It may further inflame or injure the back if not properly diagnosed and treated with the correct therapy.
The spine, from the base of the skull to the hips is an intricate network of bones, ligaments and nerves that is constantly in motion all day, every day in every person who is even moderately mobile. Posture is determined by what position the spine is in at any given moment, and repetitive heavy lifting, or suspension forward, without proper support can cause damage and pain in the spinal cord.
Then there is just the everyday wear and tear that results from just normal use of the spine on a day to day basis. That wear and tear makes it considerably more likely that we will experience some type of back pain more frequently as we get older. That is the primary reason to keep the supporting back muscles that surround the spine strong.
Because determining the cause of your back pain can be confusing, following a recommended course of action is important. The first person to contact is your primary health care physician. He/she may then order any number of diagnostic tests such as:
-Blood Tests: While not used to diagnose the actual cause of your back problems, they may be necessary for any number of other reasons before proceeding with the actual diagnostic tests.
-X Rays: Give a basic view of muscles and bones that your doctor may suspect are injured. X rays will only show bone structures and not soft tissue. X rays will generally show clear fractures and other types of damage in the bones.
-MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) that shows both soft tissue and bone structure. This is ordered when your doctor suspects more than the bones are affected in your case.
-A CT Scan will give your doctor a 3-d view of your spine for a more comprehensive evaluation.
If after ordering sufficient diagnostic tests, your primary care physician believes there is a more thorough analysis needed, he/she will refer you to a specialist for further tests, evaluation and treatment options.