Undiagnosed Back Pain – Your Next Steps
Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: June 29, 2017
Roughly 90 percent of Americans will deal with spine pain at some point in their life. Your spine is such a complex structure, which means thousands of different problems can cause a wide variety of symptoms and issues. Because of this, it’s not always easy to pinpoint exactly what’s causing your spine pain. So today, we’re going to share some tips to keep in mind if your primary care doctor can’t figure out what’s causing your back pain.
Our top recommendation if a first look doesn’t result in a clear diagnosis is to seek out a second opinion from a spine specialist. Primary care doctors have a wide variety of knowledge, but they often don’t have the depth of knowledge on a specific area like a specialist would. We always say it’s similar to taking your car in for work. Any repair shop can change your car’s oil, but if you’re dealing with a major issue, you probably want to take it into a dealer who specializes in your car brand, as they have more specific knowledge. Let a spine specialist look for signs and symptoms that a primary care physician may have missed.
Make Certain Changes
We highly recommend that you head into a specialist’s office if you don’t get a clear diagnosis, but in the meantime, make some simple daily changes that often help relieve the most common types of spine pain. For example, make it a point to get at least 30 minutes of daily exercise, as this will help strengthen structures in your back. If movement is painful, opt for non-weight bearing exercises like swimming or cycling. Also, make sure you drink plenty of fluids, as hydration is an important part of spine health, and try to eat a healthy diet full of vitamins and minerals. If you eat healthier and get more exercise, odds are your back pain will improve.
Finally, if your old habits have led you down a road where you’re dealing with back pain, don’t keep doing the same activities. Dial back your manual labor or decrease your workout intensity, as these things may be overstressing your spine. We don’t want you to sit on the couch and do nothing, but take it a little easier on your spine. In some instances, non-specific low back pain is caused by overuse injuries to the muscles and tendons in the area, and pain lingers because stubborn patients would rather push through the pain than reduce their workload for a couple of days to let the injury fully heal. Not only can backing off your physical activity help your back heal, but it can also reduce your likelihood of further damage to the affected area.
So in the end, if your first doctor can’t figure out what’s going on in your back, head into a spine specialist’s office and change some of your daily habits to help combat some of the more common causes of back pain.