Doctor For Back Pain Near Me
How do you know if back pain is muscular?
Back Pain Symptoms – If you’ve strained a back muscle, you may experience a dull pain and stiffness in your back, with an overall feeling of aches and pains. Symptoms include:
Pain that gets worse when you move, especially when bending or stretching Difficulty standing up straight Swelling or bruising in a specific area Sharp or achy pain, usually limited to the lower back and buttocks area Spasm-like pain or cramps
To identify the cause of back pain, Dr. Van Dien says that looking at the absence of symptoms can also be helpful. “When patients come in with back pain, and the pain is of muscular origin, generally that exam is void of any sort of findings that would suggest that there’s a nerve-based problem or something more significant going on,” he explains.
Fever, chills or night sweats Unexplained weight loss New bowel or bladder problems Pain that spreads down the legs Pain that lasts more than a few weeks Severe pain unrelieved by rest Weakness, numbness or tingling in one or both legs
If you are experiencing any of those symptoms, it’s best to get checked out by a doctor as soon as possible. “We don’t want you to ignore these symptoms. It’s extremely important to have a doctor evaluate you and rule out anything more serious,” says Dr. Van Dien.
What are the 4 stages of back pain?
The Four Stages of Degenerative Disc Disease – Medical professionals recognize four main stages of degenerative disc disease, beginning with the mildest form and becoming progressively more severe. They can result in pain, degenerative scoliosis, and loss of mobility. These four stages are the Dysfunction Stage, the Dehydration Stage, the Stabilization Stage, and the Collapsing Stage.
Is my back pain nerve or muscle?
Muscle or nerve pain? – Nerve pain can feel different from other types of back pain, Nerve pain tends to be sharp. It includes sensations of burning, tingling, and numbness. In contrast, muscular pain typically causes muscles and joints to feel stiff, achy, or tender.
injury or inflammation, which may put pressure on the nervesspinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal column spondylolisthesis, when a vertebra slips out of place a herniated disk, when the disks between vertebrae become compressed and bulge outan infection in the spinal disks, joints, or bones osteoporosis, which can cause painful fractures
Certain risk factors make it more likely that someone will develop nerve pain or a pinched nerve in the lower back. These factors include:
obesity ageinglow levels of physical activityuneven posture
Older age and inactivity may weaken the muscles around the spine and make someone more likely to develop age-related conditions, such as spinal stenosis. Obesity and uneven posture put additional pressure on the spine, increasing the chance of a nerve becoming compressed.
an MRI a CT scan myelography, a CT or MRI scan involving an injectable dye that shows up how nerve roots pass through neural passages
The treatment options will depend on the nature of the pain. Acute, or short-term lower back pain often resolves without treatment, but medications can help manage symptoms. Here are some tips to help with recovery:
Avoid strenuous activities temporarily.Apply hot or cold packs to help ease pain.Use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil), to reduce pain and swelling.Use prescription muscle relaxants to relax tight muscles.Apply topical pain relief, such as capsaicin and lidocaine,
What are the best capsaicin creams? For severe or chronic pain that does not resolve in a few weeks, a person may need more tests and a different treatment approach. At this point, a doctor may recommend:
medications, such as NSAIDs, antidepressants, and anticonvulsants for severe paincontinuing with daily activities rather than taking bed rest physical therapy, which may involve exercises to strengthen the core or abdominal musclesinjecting local anesthesia or corticosteroids into trigger points to lessen painradiofrequency ablation, which involves using a fine needle to destroy specific nerve fibers responsible for carrying pain signals to the brainsurgical procedures, such as a discectomy or spinal decompression, to reduce pressure on the nerve
What does surgery for a herniated disk involve? In addition to rest and pain medication, other steps can help recovery and prevent a pinched nerve from occurring again. Maintaining a neutral posture while sitting or standing may benefit overall back health.
lifting heavy objects by bending the knees rather than the backavoiding sitting for long periodsmaintaining a moderate weight stopping smoking, if applicable
At-home exercises may also help a person regain strength and range of motion after their back pain has lessened. A physical therapist will be able to provide a person with specific exercises and stretches for their individual needs. However, people should check first with a doctor to ensure exercises are safe.
Is my back pain bone or muscle?
Neuropathic Pain – Pain caused by a problem with the nerves is often described as shooting or radiating, because the pain “shoots” away from the spinal cord and radiates down the nerve paths. If the pain you feel extends to your arms, forearms, and hands, the source may be your cervical spine.
Is it better to rest or move lower back pain?
Research shows that: Lying down longer than a day or two day isn’t helpful for relieving back pain. People can recover more quickly without any bed rest. The sooner you start moving, even a little bit, or return to activities such as walking, the faster you are likely to improve.
Should I move if my back hurts?
Low back pain refers to pain that you feel in your lower back. You may also have back stiffness, decreased movement of the lower back, and difficulty standing straight. There are many things you can do at home to help your back feel better and prevent future back pain.
Stop normal physical activity for only the first few days. This helps calm your symptoms and reduce swelling (inflammation) in the area of the pain.Apply heat or ice to the painful area. Use ice for the first 48 to 72 hours, and then use heat.Take over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB) or acetaminophen (Tylenol).Sleep in a curled-up, fetal position with a pillow between your legs. If you usually sleep on your back, place a pillow or rolled towel under your knees to relieve pressure.Do not do activities that involve heavy lifting or twisting of your back for the first 6 weeks after the pain begins.Do not exercise in the days right after the pain begins. After 2 to 3 weeks, slowly begin to exercise again. A physical therapist can teach you which exercises are right for you.
EXERCISE TO PREVENT FUTURE BACK PAIN Through exercise you can:
Improve your postureStrengthen your back and abdomen, and improve flexibilityLose weight Avoid falls
A complete exercise program should include aerobic activity such as walking, swimming, or riding a stationary bicycle. It should also include stretching and strength training. Follow the instructions of your health care provider or physical therapist. Begin with light cardiovascular training.
Walking, riding an upright stationary bicycle (not the recumbent kind), and swimming are great examples. These types of aerobic activities can help improve blood flow to your back and promote healing. They also strengthen muscles in your stomach and back. Stretching and strengthening exercises are important in the long run.
Keep in mind that starting these exercises too soon after an injury can make your pain worse. Strengthening your abdominal muscles can ease the stress on your back. A physical therapist can help you determine when to begin stretching and strengthening exercises and how to do them.
JoggingContact sportsRacquet sportsGolfDancingWeight liftingLeg lifts when lying on your stomachSit-ups
TAKING MEASURES TO PREVENT FUTURE BACK PAIN To prevent back pain, learn to lift and bend properly. Follow these tips:
If an object is too heavy or awkward, get help.Spread your feet apart to give you a wide base of support.Stand as close as possible to the object you are lifting.Bend at your knees, not at your waist.Tighten your stomach muscles as you lift or lower the object.Hold the object as close to your body as you can.Lift using your leg muscles.As you stand up while holding the object, do not bend forward. Try to keep your back straight.Do not twist while you are bending to reach for the object, lifting it up, or carrying it.
Other measures to prevent back pain include:
Avoid standing for long periods. If you must stand for your work, place a stool by your feet. Alternate resting each foot on the stool.Do not wear high heels. Wear shoes that have cushioned soles when walking.When sitting, especially if using a computer, make sure that your chair has a straight back with an adjustable seat and back, armrests, and a swivel seat.Use a stool under your feet while sitting so that your knees are higher than your hips.Place a small pillow or rolled towel behind your lower back while sitting or driving for long periods.If you drive long-distance, stop and walk around every hour. Do not lift heavy objects just after a long ride.Quit smoking.Lose weight.Do exercises to strengthen your abdominal muscles. This will strengthen your core to decrease the risk of further injuries.Learn to relax. Try methods such as yoga, tai chi, or massage.
Back strain treatment; Back pain – home care; Low back pain – home care; Lumbar pain – home care; LBP – home care; Sciatic – home care Corwell BN, Davis NL. Back pain. In: Walls RM, ed. Rosen’s Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice,10th ed.
Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2023:chap 31. El Abd OH, Amadera JED. Low back strain or sprain. In: Frontera WR, Silver JK, Rizzo TD Jr, eds. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Musculoskeletal Disorders, Pain, and Rehabilitation,4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 48. Ibrahim M, Hurlbert RJ.
Nonsurgical and postsurgical management of low back pain. In: Winn HR, ed. Youmans & Winn Neurological Surgery,8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2023:chap 312. Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA.
Should I get MRI for back pain?
Back pain and sciatica are common health complaints. Almost everyone has back pain at some time in their life. Most of the time, the exact cause of the pain can’t be found. An MRI scan is an imaging test that creates detailed pictures of the soft tissue around the spine.
Cannot pass urine or stoolsCannot control your urine or stoolsDifficulty with walking and balanceBack pain that is severe in childrenFeverHistory of cancer Other signs or symptoms of cancerRecent serious fall or injuryBack pain that is very severe, and not even pain pills from your provider helpOne leg feels numb or weak and it is getting worse
If you have low back pain but none of the warning signs just mentioned, having an MRI won’t lead to better treatment, better pain relief, or a quicker return to activities. You and your provider may want to wait before having an MRI. If the pain does not get better or becomes worse, your provider will likely order one. Keep in mind that:
Most of the time, back and neck pain are not caused by a serious medical problem or injury.Low back or neck pain often gets better on its own with time.
An MRI scan creates detailed pictures of your spine. It can pick up most injuries that you have had in your spine or changes that happen with aging. Even small problems or changes that are not the cause of your current back pain are picked up. These findings rarely change how your provider first treats you. But they can lead to:
Your provider ordering more tests that you may not really need.You’re worrying about your health and your back even more. If these worries cause you not to exercise, this may cause your back to take longer to heal.Treatment that you don’t need, especially for changes that occur naturally as you age.
MRI SCAN RISKS In rare cases, the contrast (dye) used with MRI scans can cause severe allergic reactions or damage to your kidneys. The strong magnetic fields created during an MRI can cause heart pacemakers and other implants not to work as well. Newer pacemakers can be MRI compatible.
- Check with your cardiologist, and tell the MRI technologist that your pacemaker is MRI compatible.
- An MRI scan can also cause a piece of metal inside your body to move.
- Before having an MRI, tell the technologist about any metal objects that you have in your body.
- Pregnant women should not have MRI scans.
Backache – MRI; Low back pain – MRI; Lumbar pain – MRI; Back strain – MRI; Lumbar radiculopathy – MRI; Herniated intervertebral disk – MRI; Prolapsed intervertebral disk – MRI; Slipped disk – MRI; Ruptured disk – MRI; Herniated nucleus pulposus – MRI; Spinal stenosis – MRI; Degenerative spine disease – MRI Brooks MK, Mazzie JP, Ortiz AO.
Degenerative disease. In: Haaga JR, Boll DT, eds. CT and MRI of the Whole Body,6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 29. Joyce AA, Isaac Z. Low back pain. In: Hochberg MC, Gravallese EM, Silman AJ, Smolen JS, Weinblatt ME, Weisman MH, eds. Rheumatology,7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 81.
Mazur MD, Shah LM, Schmidt MH. Assessment of spinal imaging. In: Winn HR, ed. Youmans and Winn Neurological Surgery,7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 274. Masdeu JC, Ajtai B, Faridar A. Structural imaging using magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography.
In: Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC, Pomeroy SL, Newman NJ, eds. Bradley and Daroff’s Neurology in Clinical Practice,8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 40. Updated by: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, San Francisco, CA.
Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.