Who Should You See to Treat Your Low Back Pain?

Who Should You See to Treat Your Low Back Pain? Blog

Low back pain is extremely common, both in the US and worldwide. The Global Burden of Disease 2010 report cites back pain as the leading cause of disability worldwide, and the American Chiropractic Association reports that back pain is one of the most common excuses for work absenteeism in the US, and is the second most common reason for doctor visits, second only to upper respiratory infections.

Due to its ubiquitous prevalence, there is little wonder that there are multiple treatment options for low back pain, ranging from pain medication to full blown surgery. However, most treatments focus on managing pain and treating the area of discomfort, but fail to address the root cause of back pain. Back pain can have a number of causes, and the source could originate from issues occurring far from the site of pain.

Some common causes of low back pain include:

  • Poor postural habits
  • Weak and/or tight muscles
  • Faulty movement mechanics
  • Repetitive overuse of muscles
  • Sitting for long hours
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Weak core muscles
  • Trauma

Non-Surgical Treatment Options for Low Back Pain

Understandably, addressing pain is often the first course of action in back pain treatment, since that is why patients go for help in the first place. However, pain management should not be the only goal of treatment. Effective treatment that resolves back pain in the long run involves identifying the source of pain and correcting the root cause.

Conservative non-surgical treatment options frequently include:

  • Pain medications ranging from over-the-counter NSAIDs to prescription pain killers and muscle relaxants.
  • Heat and/or ice to reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
  • Chiropractic manipulation to take pressure off nerves
  • Therapeutic massage to relax muscles and increase blood flow
  • Physical therapy to stretch and strengthen muscles

While popular treatment options may temporarily alleviate pain, they often fall short of eliminating the source of the problem, and you may find your back pain returning not long after treatment.

Holistic Treatment for Low Back Pain

To get to the source of your low back pain and eradicate it, seek treatment from practitioners who understand the importance of movement mechanics, and who realize that pain often originates from neurodynamics, the interactions between muscles and nerves. A holistic back pain specialist will do a thorough analysis of posture, movement, gait and lifestyle habits, supported by MRI or ultrasonography, and will design a treatment protocol to correct deficiencies.

When looking for a back pain specialist, ask the following questions:

  1. 1.What will the examination entail?

An effective diagnosis depends on multiple factors, and your back pain specialist should be willing to explore all pathways that lead to resolution. This may include computerized gait analysis, postural analysis, assessment of strength and range of motion, a thorough review of daily activities and lifestyle factors, a comprehensive health history review, MRI, ultrasonography, and other diagnostic approaches geared to getting at the source of your pain.

  1. 2.What is your approach to treatment?

In a holistic approach, treatment is often multimodal. While any practitioner is likely to address pain and inflammation early on, treatment should not stop there. If medication, rest and cold therapy constitute the entire treatment protocol short of surgery, you should probably look elsewhere.

  1. 3.What treatment options do you normally recommend?

Treatment should be individualized, and may involve a combination of strategies such as acupuncture, physical therapy, massage, chiropractic manipulation, therapeutic Pilates exercises, shock wave therapy, computerized gait retraining, and sometimes other innovative therapies such at Vojta, DNS, Redcord therapy, and more.

Back Pain Treatment in NYC

NYDNRehab is the place to go for back pain in NYC. Our back pain specialists have access to the most cutting edge technologies for diagnosis and treatment, all under one roof. Our team of professionals will work together to ensure you receive the very best treatment available for your back pain.

At NYDNRehab, we are dedicated to getting at the source of your back problem, not just treating the symptoms. Our skilled therapists know how to accurately assess and diagnose your back pain, and create individualized solutions for treatment. With the latest technologies and methods at our fingertips, NYDNRehab is fully equipped to treat your back pain at its source, so you can return to your active lifestyle.

 

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In this instance, an athlete was originally diagnosed with minor quadriceps muscle strain and was treated for four weeks, with unsatisfactory results. When he came to our clinic, the muscle was not healing, and the patients’ muscle tissue had already begun to atrophy.

Upon examination using MSUS, we discovered that he had a full muscle thickness tear that had been overlooked by his previous provider. To mitigate damage and promote healing, surgery should have been performed immediately after the injury occurred. Because of misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment, the patient now has permanent damage that cannot be corrected.

The most important advantage of Ultrasound over MRI imaging is its ability to zero in on the symptomatic region and obtain imaging, with active participation and feedback from the patient. Using dynamic MSUS, we can see what happens when patients contract their muscles, something that cannot be done with MRI. From a diagnostic perspective, this interaction is invaluable.

Dynamic ultrasonography examination demonstrating
the full thickness tear and already occurring muscle atrophy
due to misdiagnosis and not referring the patient
to proper diagnostic workup

Demonstration of how very small muscle defect is made and revealed
to be a complete tear with muscle contraction
under diagnostic sonography (not possible with MRI)

image

Complete tear of rectus femoris
with large hematoma (blood)

image

Separation of muscle ends due to tear elicited
on dynamic sonography examination

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