Back pain has the ability to make your life miserable. Whether it starts after an injury or you’ve had chronic pain for years, back pain isn’t something you want to let go without treatment. But when is the right time to seek medical attention for your back pain?
At Integrated Body and Medicine, our team is experienced with both diagnosing and treating back pain. We identify the cause and develop a personalized treatment plan to ease your pain and allow you to return to your normal activities.
Causes of back pain
Back pain can come on suddenly or progress over time. A simple twist the wrong way can aggravate a number of conditions that lead to pain or discomfort in your back. Some of the main causes of back pain include:
- Herniated disc
- Spinal stenosis
- Degenerative disc disease
- Sprains and strains
- Spinal infections
Sprains and strains are among the most common causes of back pain after a sports injury or a car accident. But other conditions are chronic and may have been brewing for a long time before causing any pain.
When to seek help for back pain
A minor sprain or strain in your back should get better with a few days of rest and over-the-counter pain relievers. If your pain persists or gets worse, it’s time to seek treatment.
In some cases, back pain can be a sign of a more serious underlying condition. It’s very important to seek help if your back pain:
- Starts after severe trauma to your back
- Causes numbness or tingling in your legs
- Is accompanied by weakness in your legs
- Is severe, especially when you lie down
- Spreads down your legs
- Occurs with unintended weight loss
- Happens with redness or swelling in your back
- Causes incontinence of your bowel or bladder
If you’re ever in doubt about whether to seek treatment for your back pain, err on the side of caution. It’s better to seek medical care and only need minor treatment than not get it and end up needing intensive care and rehabilitation.
What treatments are available for back pain?
At Integrated Body and Medicine, we strive to give you the best outcome possible for your back pain. We start with a detailed physical exam, as well as an MRI or X-ray to determine the cause of your discomfort.
Our treatment plans are focused on helping you feel better through noninvasive methods. The treatments you can expect for back pain include:
Losing just a few pounds when you’re overweight can help back pain significantly. We also recommend eating a healthy diet and squeezing in some low-impact exercise regularly to ease your pain.
Physical therapy helps you regain function in your back and relieve pain. The goal of physical therapy is to improve functionality and increase your range of motion in your back so you can live a more productive life.
Manual orthopedic manipulation helps get rid of your pain by manipulating your tissues to allow increased blood flow to the painful area. Techniques may include stretching and myofascial release.
If other noninvasive approaches haven’t done the trick, we may recommend steroid injections into your back to decrease inflammation. These injections can provide months of pain relief at a time.
At Integrated Body and Medicine, we treat each patient with individually created treatment plans. You may need only one form of treatment or multiple, depending on the severity of your pain and how you respond to other forms of therapy.
If you’re struggling with persistent back pain, call our office or schedule an appointment through our online system today. We serve the greater Highland and Hammond, Indiana, area.