01 Sep Lower Back Pain 101
Lower back pain affects 31 million people in the United States each year. In addition to greatly diminishing a person’s quality of life, lower back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide. It is a major cause of workdays missed and is the second leading reason for visits to the doctor’s office. Up to half of all Americans state, they have back pain each year. Missed work, skipped social functions, and an inability to hold grandkids and play with kids are key reasons that people look for a solution for back pain.
Lower back pain is caused by a plethora of reasons. Between bones, joints, cartilage, and nerves, there are a lot of different elements that make up the spine. Over time, these parts undergo everyday wear and tear. In addition, injuries over the lifetime of a person can cause various parts of the spine to break down. Many people do not realize that sports injuries, car accidents, and carrying extra weight are all factors that can lead to lower back pain over time.
The single most important factor for adequately treating back pain is working with a physician as soon as the pain starts. Many people try to deal with the pain and credit it as a normal part of the aging process. However, pain is never normal. And, if you are feeling lower back pain, there are steps your physician can take to reduce the amount of pain you are feeling. However, the best treatment results are seen when therapy begins early on.
Often, the first step of a person experiencing back pain is a trip to their primary care physician. At this step, medication and physical therapy are likely to be prescribed. However, medication is a short term solution as most people develop a tolerance to prescription medication. Physical therapy can be helpful in reducing pain and maintaining range of motion. However, patients must regularly attend sessions in order to get any kind of relief. The next step and most important step would be a visit to a pain management specialist. At this point, patients should expect to obtain an accurate diagnosis and be met with treatment options they would not normally find at a general practitioner’s office. Ideally, with the guidance of a pain management specialist, patients can hope to find an adequate treatment plan that helps to mitigate their pain.
Lower back pain is a very difficult condition to deal with. It often takes multiple trips to the doctor to find an accurate diagnosis. In addition, it can take months or even years before patients find an adequate treatment plan that significantly improves their quality of life. However, most patients suffer in pain for a long time because they never seek the help of a pain management specialist. Pain management specialists have access to a variety of unique treatment options that are not found in other offices. In addition, pain management specialists have dedicated their careers to helping people mitigate their pain and improve their lifestyles. When you begin feeling lower back pain, do not hesitate to contact a pain management specialist as soon as possible.