Lower Back Pain Symptoms And Treatments

Lower Back Pain Symptoms And Treatments

“On a scale of 1 to 10, how much pain are you in?” 

This is the most common question a doctor asks regarding pain. Because pain is subjective, it’s an important way to help a physician understand the intensity of your pain symptoms.

Pain in the lumbar region (lower back) is the second leading cause of disability in the United States, and the fourth worldwide. It’s also one of the top five problems for which people see physicians. The bane of many people’s existence, lower back pain is debilitating and discriminating. Almost every day patients are seen for some type of back pain, and those who suffer from it often miss work, making this injury a costly problem for patients and their employers.   

The first step in obtaining an accurate diagnosis of what may be causing your low back pain is identifying your symptoms – as specifically as possible. 

  • What type of pain are you feeling? Is it a stabbing, shooting, aching, or persistent sensation?
  • Where is the pain located? Does it travel – say, down the legs, buttocks, and feet?
  • Does it feel like your muscles are spasming? Which muscles?
  • Do you have numbness and weakness in any particular area? Is it intermittent or constant?
  • Is there any inflammation in the area? Where and when did it occur?
  • Since the pain began, do you notice pain in other areas of the body?

A visit to your pain management doctor will start with a discussion of your symptoms and medical history. A physical examination can help identify whether the pain may be affecting your reflexes, mobility, and balance – to see if your nervous system may be impacted. Imaging tests (such as X-rays, ultrasound, or others) may be performed to look for issues with your bones, spinal discs, or even the ligaments and tendons in your back.

Causes & Treatments for Low Back Pain 

Possible causes of lower back pain run the gamut and can include herniated discs, sprains or strains, pinched nerves, and spinal cord misalignment. Treatments, likewise, can vary greatly depending on the cause of your symptoms.

Most low back pain resolves using simple, nonsurgical methods such as: 

·       Medications. Muscle relaxants, cortisone injections and anti-inflammatories can all help reduce inflammation, and pain caused by the swelling (for example, if nerves are pinched due to inflammation). However, medication tends to offer only temporary relief, and so may be used in conjunction with other therapies. 

·       Physical Therapy. The most common form of treatment for low back pain, physical therapy may include massage, stretching, strength training exercises, and back and spinal manipulation.

If your low pain is not relieved with these therapies, surgery may be recommended, depending on the cause of your symptoms.  

To learn more about low back pain and how it can be treated, talk to the experts at Pain Specialists of Austin who help patients like you every day. To discuss your pain relief options, call (855) 876-7246 for an appointment today. We have 10 convenient locations in and around the Austin, Texas, area. You can also request an appointment online.