If a person has suffered from back pain for a couple of weeks or longer, and conservative treatments don’t seem to be helping, it may be time to seek the advice of a back pain specialist in San Antonio. At the South Texas Spinal Clinic. P.A., a multispecialty practice, the professionals are board-certified and up-to-date on the latest technology necessary to resolve back issues in their patients.
Facts About Back Pain
Approximately 80 percent of people will, at some point in their lives, experience the annoying discomfort of lower back pain. It is a leading cause of job-related disability and absences from the workplace in America. Back pain can be a problem for anyone, and the causes are varied. This type of medical problem can result from sports or other types of injuries, strains or sprains, the aging process and many other causes.
Most causes of back pain are mechanical. This means the pain is caused by abnormal stress and strain put on the spinal column. Other problems that are not mechanical in nature, and are more serious causes of back pain include arthritis, cancer, a broken bone or an infection.
Risk Factors for Back Problems
Factors that can increase an individual’s risk of having annoying and painful back issues include gaining weight, being over 30 years of age and pregnancy. Occupation can also be a risk factor if lifting, pushing or pulling heavy weights or a lot of twisting is involved. A job that requires sitting at a desk all day can increase the chances of having back pain, particularly if the person has poor posture or if the desk chair doesn’t provide proper support for the back.
Genetics and a sedentary lifestyle can also be factors in having a greater risk of experiencing back pain. Even something as innocuous as children carrying heavy backpacks can cause this type of pain.
Conservative Treatment and Self-Care
Often, mild back pain can be resolved by using heat or ice packs periodically throughout the day and an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen. If the pain doesn’t start to calm down within a few days, or the patient experiences severe pain or loss of function, it is best to consult with the back pain doctors in San Antonio, who can identify the cause and prescribe the optimal treatment plan to resolve it.
Diagnosing Back Pain
When patients arrive at South Texas Spinal Clinic, P.A., they are checked in by a friendly, compassionate staff member. Once in the exam room, a professional will talk with the patient about their medical history. The physician will evaluate the patient by doing a physical exam to determine the root cause of the back pain. Sometimes, other tests may be necessary to make a diagnosis. These may include an x-ray or a more definitive type of imaging, such as a CT scan or MRI.
If the specialists suspect the problem is radiculopathy, they may do electrodiagnostic testing. These include an electromyogram, nerve conduction study or evoked potential study. The physician may also do an ultrasound to see inside the body. This enables the doctor to spot tears in the muscles, tendons or ligaments. A contrast dye may be used along with a myelogram or discography to determine the cause of the back pain. Blood may be drawn to detect issues such as an infection, arthritis or inflammation.
Some of the treatment plans that our back pain doctors in San Antonio may prescribe include:
Treatment with medication: If the individual has a ruptured disc or a strained or pulled muscle, the specialist may recommend an anti-inflammatory medication along with pain medicine. These medications, along with other conservative measures, will help resolve the pain quickly.
Chiropractic care: This type of treatment is necessary if the patient’s spinal column is out of alignment due to poor posture, an injury or a fall. The chiropractor will also recommend exercises to strengthen the core and other muscles of the body to prevent the problem from occurring again.
Occupational therapy: This type of treatment is often necessary if the patient has poor posture or works at a job where they don’t move in the proper way to maintain the correct alignment of the spine. The therapy helps strengthen the patient’s muscles and teaches effective ways to move the body while performing the job.
Physical medicine and rehabilitation care: This type of treatment encompasses the entire body and how the muscles and skeletal system work together. The patient may undergo physical therapy and learn exercises to help the body function most efficiently.
Patients seeking back pain treatment in the San Antonio area should call the South Texas Spinal Clinic, P.A. to schedule a consultation. Our specialists will help determine the cause of the back pain and how to resolve it best. South Texas Spinal Clinic, P.A. has multiple locations throughout the city, making appointments convenient for patients no matter where they live or work. The team believes that integrity is a priority in the medical field, and the group has earned some of the highest accreditations in health care. The professionals at South Texas Spinal Clinic, P.A. strive to provide the best, most innovative healthcare in a setting that makes patients feel as if they are one of the family.