Locating medical care for back pain is probably very high on your list of priorities if you are suffering any form of back pain. Back pain has a multitude of causes and symptoms which requires an intensive diagnostic process in order to formulate an effective treatment plan. Whether you suffer from intermittent mild back pain or chronic and agonizing back pain, recognizing the symptoms and getting a proper diagnosis is the best way to begin an effective pain management program.
There are many different types of back pain and sciatica treatments available that include Eastern and Western medicine as well as natural and chemical treatments. For most back pain sufferers, the most effective treatment will involve a combination of both treatment types.
Although many back pain sufferers simply rely on their primary care physician to diagnose them and recommend a treatment plan, the truth is that the patient plays a large role in the diagnostic process as well.
No one knows the symptoms you are experiencing better than you, the patient, therefore your doctor will rely on accurate information from you while attempting to diagnose the source of your back pain. You should be prepared to answer questions such as:
- Where is your back pain?
- Describe the back pain; is it radiating, sharp, dull, numbing or tingling?
- What do you to experience pain relief?
- What activities exacerbate your back pain?
- Does the pain move? If so, where else does it hurt?
It helps to keep detailed notes for the several days preceding your doctor’s appointment. Because while your physician will run tests, the information you provide can mean the difference between an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment and ongoing back pain.
For example sciatica is very likely to cause back pain because a portion of the sciatic nerve is in the lower back, but non-sciatica back pain may not cause symptoms such as a radiating pain down the buttocks and legs. Listening to your body will help you and your physician come up with an effective back pain or sciatica treatment.
The first step in treating back pain and sciatica is immediate pain relief. The most common form of immediate pain relief is painkillers because they begin working immediately, which will allow patients to quickly begin soothing muscles through stretching. Most physicians recommend NSAIDs because they relieve back pain while reducing inflammation due to strained or sprained muscles.
Physical therapy has proven to be one of the most effective treatments for back pain and sciatica because the treatments can be tailored for each patient. Physical therapy treatments include a regimen of stretches and exercises that strengthen back muscles and relieve the tension and pressure causing the pain. It is not recommended that you attempt stretches and exercises on your own if you suffer from chronic and severe back pain as this can intensify the pain and cause further damage.
One tool many back pain and sciatica sufferers rely on for all day relief is the therapeutic pillow. Back pillows come in a variety of shapes and sizes to remove the tension and pressure on the back muscles and nerves. Daily activities such as bending or walking or lifting can put unnecessary pressure on muscles and nerves, particularly if done incorrectly, and pillows can correct posture and straighten the spine to get rid of unnecessary power.
Most back pain and sciatica is a symptom of a much larger problem that has gone undiagnosed and these treatments will only relieve the pain. Curing back pain and sciatica can only occur by diagnosing the underlying problems. But everyday issues such as lifting with the legs instead of the back and maintaining proper posture can not only alleviate pain but also prevent future back pain.