There are several different reasons why people have back pain. Some of the main ones are scoliosis, osteoporosis, and sciatica. When dealing with one of these issues, getting the help you need right away is essential. You may need to get X-rays or MRIs to see if there’s a bigger problem.
A recent study suggests routine imaging tests may be unnecessary for lower back pain. This study was the first to look at the factors that influence the ordering of imaging tests in the context of low-risk patients.
The benefits of x-rays for back pain are two-fold. The first is that x-rays can help rule out bone conditions. Secondly, routinely ordered x-rays can be helpful for insurance purposes.
Imaging tests can also help diagnose other problems. They can check for fractures, herniated disks, arthritis, and muscle injuries. Other procedures, like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT), can provide a more comprehensive diagnosis.
Interestingly, there is little evidence to suggest that routinely ordered x-rays impact how a doctor treats a patient’s back pain. Instead, the results of these tests are often a result of patient history, clinical factors, and provider specialty.
Opioids are medications that doctors prescribe to treat back pain. Although opioids can be helpful, they can also cause side effects and addiction. A doctor should review the potential risks and benefits before prescribing opioids to a patient.
When compared to nonopioid treatments, opioids have been found to have more side effects and fewer analgesic benefits. They are not recommended for long-term use.
For people with chronic back pain, opioids can make the pain worse. If used long-term, the drugs can lead to addiction and overdose.
Using opioids for chronic pain increases the risk of withdrawal symptoms, hyperalgesia, and tolerance. It makes it harder to taper off the drugs.
Osteoporosis is a disorder in which the bones shrink and weaken. It can affect both males and women. This disorder can cause excruciating discomfort. Fortunately, there are ways to manage it.
The most common types of fractures associated with osteoporosis include vertebral and thoracic fractures. These fractures can be painful and can shorten a person’s life.
Many factors can contribute to osteoporosis. Lifestyle choices, a lack of exercise, and injury can all lead to a decrease in bone density. If you suspect you have osteoporosis, see your doctor to learn more about its causes and treatment.
If you are experiencing back pain, you may be an osteoporosis patient. Treatment options include antidepressant medications, ice, and pain relievers. You can also start an exercise program to help strengthen the muscles in your lower body.
Scoliosis causes back pain because the spine becomes curved, putting pressure on the area’s muscles, ligaments, and tendons. These pressures can lead to internal organ damage and hinder movement.
A scoliosis specialist can determine which type of treatment is best for you. Treatment may involve braces, medication, physical agents, or surgery. Surgery is not always necessary for mild cases of scoliosis. In some cases, chiropractic care is effective in managing symptoms without surgery.
Surgery is a standard procedure for treating scoliosis. It involves the removal of bone between the hip bones and vertebrae to improve stability. However, it can also cause spinal imbalances, neurological problems, infections, and blood loss.
Scoliosis is a progressive disorder that causes your spine to bend. It is usually diagnosed in childhood. The severity of the condition depends on the angle of the curve. If you have an enormous curve, you’ll likely experience more pain.
Sciatica is a type of back pain caused by the pressure of the spinal column on the sciatic nerve. It can range from a mild ache to a sharp burning pain. If left untreated, sciatica can cause permanent nerve damage.
Although it can be pretty painful, sciatica is usually treatable. In most cases, patients can manage their symptoms using over-the-counter pain relievers. These products help to reduce inflammation and promote blood flow to the affected area.
Physical therapy is also a good option for many patients. This treatment focuses on improving the range of motion and strengthening weak muscles. The therapist may prescribe stretches, strengthening exercises, and aerobic activities.
Cortisone shots may also be used to control sciatica symptoms. While these injections effectively reduce pain, they come with several risks.