Any professional who works with back pain patients may call him- or herself a back pain specialist — but what does this term truly mean? Perhaps you have visited numerous practitioners for chronic back pain that doesn’t seem to abate regardless of what you do. Are you tired of struggling?
At Bayside Physical Therapy, Chiropractic, Acupuncture, PLLC our back pain specialists focus on isolating the cause of your chronic back pain, developing a treatment plan, and working with you toward recovery.
A back pain doctor will tell you that there are many causes of back pain. Everyone is unique. Sometimes, it’s easy to find the cause of patients’ back pain, while others undergo multiple exams and tests to discover the root cause. Below are three common conditions that may lead to mild to severe levels of back pain.
If you’ve injured your back, you probably know exactly what you were doing and how it happened. You may have strained or sprained a muscle at work, or perhaps you just lifted your toddler too high above your head when playing with him. We can treat injuries, like back and neck pain, with several modalities of healing including chiropractic care, acupuncture, and physical therapy.
If your back pain is chronic, you may have a problem with your spinal discs. Discs are filled with a soft, jelly-like substance that can easily dislodge in an injury, and they may even rupture. This material can press on spinal nerves, creating sensations that range from discomfort to extreme pain. For example, a lumbar disc that presses on your sciatic nerve could cause back and leg pain, stiffness, and loss of sensation in the feet and toes over time. It’s important to see a back pain doctor immediately to diagnose a potential disc problem.
Arthritis refers to the swelling of joints. A patient may have rheumatoid arthritis, which typically affects the hands and feet but can occasionally include the spine, or ankylosing spondylitis, which is a type of arthritis that is known to cause extreme back pain. At first, you may notice stiffness or soreness upon waking in the morning. This sensation may progress as the condition becomes more severe. You may experience a great deal of relief when you add physical therapy, chiropractic manipulations, or acupuncture to your treatment regimen.
At first, you may opt to treat your back pain at home. This is a good choice for individuals who have minor muscle strains with an obvious cause (such as lifting a heavy object); however, people with undiagnosed chronic back pain should visit a back pain specialist for evaluation to determine why they are not recovering. The answer could be a chronic pain condition such as arthritis — or it may be as simple as correcting the ergonomics at your workstation and undergoing a course of physical therapy. Patients with severe injuries should immediately seek chronic back pain treatment. Do not try to treat a severe work-related injury at home before seeing a healthcare professional.
If you’re newly injured or you’ve noticed a nagging pain in your lower back for a few weeks, you may not know what doctor to see for back pain. After undergoing an evaluation by your general practitioner, depending on what he or she suspects is causing your pain, your doctor may refer you to a back pain specialist. You might undergo neurological exams, blood tests, and further imaging such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRIs) and X-rays. Some cases of back pain are self-explanatory, while others puzzle medical professionals. Often, a series of exams will provide an answer.
Your first stop, after treating the acute phase of back pain, may be physical therapy. Physical therapists can help you reduce discomfort in your everyday life and in your workspace. These professionals will provide exercises that strengthen your muscles and reduce inflammation. A chiropractor focuses on aligning the spinal column and ensuring that the muscles, joints, and ligaments in the back function correctly and in harmony with one another. Finally, an acupuncturist uses this ancient Chinese system of medicine to bring your body back into balance for long-term pain relief.
Back pain patients have many options from which to choose when seeking treatment. If your back pain is chronic, severe, or unimproved after you’ve received treatment, it’s time to try something different. Get in touch with Bayside Physical Therapy to learn more about our pain doctors, who specialize in treating chronic pain and can provide definitive treatment advice to help you feel better. We accept most health insurance plans, including no-fault and workers’ compensation insurance. Same-day appointments may be available. Call an experienced Queens back specialist (718) 229-4878 today and get on your way to recovery.