Knowledge is the key to success in pretty much every aspect of life, so why shouldn’t this also be applicable if you suffer from back pain? If you can understand your back pain to make the right decisions, the chances are your pain will either be gone or a lot less significant if you learn more about it. Understanding back pain helps you make the right choices for your healthcare.

Most back pain boils down to compression of the joints, even in things like arthritis and dysfunctional joints. Our bodies are continually fighting gravity which puts pressure on our joints, our changes in lifestyle, sitting too much, working out, long drives and accidents, all impact our joints and our back in some way.

As the joints compress, they trap nerves, they become dysfunctional and this dysfunction generates inflammation and this causes pain.

So what is the general path back pain follows and what are the protocols most doctors follow in trying to treat it?

Firstly, if you feel back pain, then stop what you are doing so you don’t aggravate it further. At this initial stage, ice the area for 20 minutes a few times throughout the day. If you can, take some anti inflammatories as well. Ice and anti-inflammatories are designed to get inflammation down.

If your pain recedes, then all well and good. If not, go to see your primary, a chiropractor or physical therapist for further treatment. They will use their own methods to treat your pain to reduce inflammation, your primary may prescribe a more potent anti inflammatory, while a chiropractor will put you on a series of therapies designed to help with your pain, and also suggest some exercises to further help. This initial care is very conservative and will probably help the majority of people.

If there is still no response to treatment, then it may be necessary to get some imaging done, an X-Ray, CAT scan or MRI. MRI is about the best imaging you can have as it shows muscles and nerves as well as your bones, so a clearer picture can be seen of the issue.

Based on this, a different type of medication may be prescribed, perhaps injections into the afflicted area, and a multi focused approach involving the physical therapist or chiropractor to then treat the actual problem at root.

If there is still no response then a manipulation under anesthesia may be considered which is a more aggressive form of therapy while the patient is asleep. This can really help break up long standing chronic pain issues and helps around 90% of all cases undergoing this treatment. Other treatments may also be considered such as ablations, medical marijuana and more.

Ultimately, if nothing has worked at this point then it may be necessary to consider surgery. Always try to exhaust all other options before going this route because the more conservative approach will help the majority of people, but fortunately if you are one of the few where surgery is the only way, procedures are so much better today and are always improving, so the chances of a good outcome are getting better each year.

So the basic path is stop what you are doing, ice the area and take anti-inflammatories. If no improvement, see a doctor and follow prescribed therapies and medications. If this doesn’t work, then MUA can really help along with alternative pain care treatments. Ultimately use surgery as a last resort.

As ever, if you have any questions, do not hesitate in contacting us. We are available by phone, (843) 804-8100 or Facebook messaging, or simply drop in, we’re walk in friendly.

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Dr Ray Marquez DC is a chiropractor and the owner of Back Pain Relief Center. He has two branches, one in Vineland, New Jersey, the other in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. To learn more about him, check his site at Back Pain Relief Center Vineland or Back Pain Relief Center Myrtle Beach

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