Finding the Right HelpGetting on the right track means searching for a spinal professional that can identify and treat the source of the back pain, help with posture, diet advice, and help reach optimal health. Finding the source of the pain can be a challenge, but it is not impossible. The key is finding a knowledgeable, experienced back pain specialist and taking an active role in your spine’s health. Chiropractors, doctors, and physicians begin with at least 4-6 weeks of non-invasive treatment. These start with tests, scans, x-rays, then move on to treatment, which can consist of ice/heat, physical therapy, adjustments, re-alignment combined with exercises, stretches. Prescription medication/s or surgery is the last option for fear of worsening conditions along with medication abuse. This approach has seen an increase in relief and favorable outcomes.
Patient Active RoleMany individuals have gone down the path of being over-medicated and are exhausted with the whole experience of being constipated, constant brain fog, etc. Those same individuals are taking that active role and getting involved by dealing with their back pain in a natural non-invasive way. Preparing before meeting with a spine professional is important to give as much information as possible.
- Write down notes about what is being felt in and around the body, not just the back. This is because of the psychological aspect of pain, which can manifest in a variety of ways.
Try To Go Back To When The Pain Started
- Think about when the pain first began
- Sitting at work/home one day when there was what you thought was a little shift or tingle
- Sports activity
- Popping, clicking, grinding sensations and sounds
- Warming, electrical, shooting sensation/s pain
- Tingling/numbness in the leg, foot, toes
- Try to describe all the details with the doctor/chiropractor even what you might consider trivial
Emotions/Stress Triggers need to be taken into account
- Major life changes and stress affects the whole body, especially the spine
Family Friend Perspective and SupportBringing along a close family member or friend that knows your activity habits could help the doctor get a better idea of what is causing the pain. Family or friends can remember a trip, fall, dance moment that didn’t go so well, work accident, etc.
Medical HistoryPrior medical injuries and conditions will help provide additional information as to whether there is a pattern when back pain strikes. This can be extremely important even if it does not seem to be related to the pain symptoms. Tell the doctor about any physical therapy or other holistic/conservative treatments performed before and after the pain began. Also, inform them of any medications, supplements, vitamins, herbs, over-the-counter medications that were taken prior to the pain and currently being taken. If there has been unexplained weight loss, fever, urination/bowel changes, should also be discussed.
Physical TestsUnless the patient is in too much pain, the meeting with the chiropractic physician will be active, meaning the doctor may have the patient perform a series of movements like:
- Bending forward, backward, and to the side
- Lifting the legs straight up while standing and lying down
- Inform the doctor of any numbness or tingling pain while performing these musculoskeletal exercises/tests.
OptionsDepending on the physician’s assessment, initial treatment will take time, require the individual to take an active role, and possibly recommend the individual try different treatment options. Ask the doctor all the questions you have during the visit like:
- Could there be more than one cause for my back pain?
- Do the treatments hurt?
- The treatment will keep me pain-free or just tolerable?
- Are there self-therapies to assist healing and recovery?
- If seeing a general physician you could ask for a recommended spine specialist