Back Pain Pain Management in Knoxville, TN
What is back pain?Back pain is one of the most common reasons people miss work or visit their doctor. Back pain is generally not serious and can range from mild to severe. The pain can range from a sharp to a shooting sensation that normally subsides within a few days or weeks. If the pain does not go away within several days or weeks, you should visit your doctor. Our Knoxville, TN back pain specialist will create a specific treatment plan for you depending on your diagnosis.
What causes back pain?The causes of back pain tend to vary; something as banal as our seating position can cause pain in our lower back. Other activities such as a pulled muscle (strain), strenuous exercise or lifting heavy equipment on our backs are indisputable reasons for back pain. When pain occurs for any of these reasons, anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen or naproxen should be enough to ease the pain. Stretching regularly is also a good option to relieve some muscle tension. If the pain does not go away after a few weeks or if it gradually worsens, the best option is to consult with a doctor so he can conduct a physical examination. After conducting a physical examination, if the doctor deems necessary, he will order further tests to determine what could be causing the back pain. Typically, imaging tests like X-rays, CT scans or MRIs are performed in order to get a clearer picture of the problem. Rarely will the back pain require surgery, but exceptions can occur. If the pain is accompanied by symptoms such as fever, urinary incontinence or trouble urinating, inflammation or swelling, this might be a sign of a more serious problem. More serious reasons for back pain include:
OsteoarthritisOsteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that affects the joints in our hands, knees, and spine, potentially causing lower back pain. There is no cure for Osteoarthritis, but the symptoms can be managed with medication and therapy. A rheumatologist will determine the best course of action to improve the symptoms.
Bulging DiscAlso called herniated or ruptured disk, it typically happens when the disks between the bones that comprise the spine contract and bulge out. The resulting symptoms include back pain, weakness and/or numbness in the legs, difficulty walking, etc. Anti-inflammatory drugs can help with the pain; however, in severe cases, surgery might be needed to release pressure on the spinal nerves. This type of surgery is called a “discectomy.”
SciaticaSciatica is a type of pain that happens when the sciatic nerve — the longest nerve in the body — becomes irritated or compressed. This can cause a tingling sensation, numbness, or burning pain in your back, legs, feet, or toes. This pain can be relieved by using hot or cold packs and anti-inflammatory drugs.
CancerAlthough considerably uncommon, certain cancers can be a source of back pain. A spinal tumor might compress the spinal cord or spinal nerves, leading to back pain. Lung, breast, and some other undiagnosed cancers can cause pain when they have spread to other organs. Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy tend to cause pain in other parts of the body. Nevertheless, it is pertinent to remember that back pain alone is not a telling sign of cancer; other symptoms must occur in conjunction for a doctor to determine that the origin of the pain might be a tumor.
How to treat back pain?Normally, home remedies will suffice to relieve the pain. If the pain was caused due to heavy lifting or intense workout, sticking to lighter exercise like aerobics, or stretching might be a better option. It is important to exercise on a daily basis to prevent muscle atrophy, and avoid staying in bed for long periods of time. When carrying heavy objects such as books or a laptop, switching to a rolling backpack is a less harmful alternative. Other helpful treatments for back pain include: Massage. Back massages help relax the muscles and free muscle tension. It is best if provided by a professional to prevent injury. Gels and lotions containing ibuprofen and lidocaine can be used in tandem. Meditation. When the pain becomes chronic, it can cause irritability, mood changes, and depression. Meditation techniques such as mindfulness, breathing exercises, and yoga can help physically and mentally as they increase self-awareness. Physical Therapy. A physical therapist can help with more specialized exercises to reduce the pain and improve flexibility. Your physical therapist will suggest different types of postures to help with the pain and strengthen your core. This is one of the most common treatments for back pain. Sit properly. Our seating posture matters considerably, especially for those in office jobs which require sitting for extended periods. Sometimes when we are too focused on the screen, we tend to bend frontward, leaving our backs in a C-shaped position, which can cause significant harm. Sitting upright will feel awkward and will take getting used to at first, but with time it will become second nature. Additionally, maintaining a healthy weight is highly advised to avoid back pain and other conditions or diseases like high cholesterol, diabetes, hypertension, and heart issues. Carrying more weight than our body can handle is also a well-known source of pain. A doctor or nutritionist can aid in structuring a balanced diet to ensure we stay within our range.
ConclusionBack pain is one of the most common conditions for which people visit the doctor. Several reasons cause aches in the spinal area, and the most common include strenuous exercise, strain, or heavy lifting. More serious cases include arthritis, bulging disk, sciatica, and rarely cancer. Our Knoxville, TN back pain doctor will conduct imaging tests to learn the root cause. Home remedies are usually enough to treat the pain, over the counter painkillers such as ibuprofen or naproxen are effective anti-inflammatory drugs as well. It is also recommended to stretch regularly and not carry heavy objects to avoid injury. If you are experiencing back pain that does not lessen after a few days or weeks, or if the pain is accompanied by symptoms like fever, inflammation or swelling, or urinary incontinence, you should visit a doctor for a thorough physical examination.
Back pain treatment in Knoxville, TNDealing with back pain with Knoxville, TN specialists is no longer complex and overwhelming. Omega Pain Management will help you understand where your pain is coming from and create a personalized progressive pain management plan to help you get back on your feet again FAST. Igor Smelyansky, MD, leads one of the best pain management clinics in Knoxville, TN. Helping thousands of people deal with their pain so they can get back on track in life. Call 865-337-5137 right now to get started!
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