HEALTH WATCH Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Back pain can have numerous causes
By DR. ANDREW DYKEMAN - For The Telegraph
Most people experience back pain. Besides spinal discs there are many other causes of back pain, including arthritis, sprain/strain, subluxation and muscle spasm as well as more serious conditions. To determine the cause of your back pain, a thorough history and physical examination, including examination of your nervous and musculoskeletal systems, should be performed. Sometimes further testing may be ordered. In the early 1980s, crude MRI images began appearing as a diagnostic tool for back pain sufferers. At that time, most low back pain cases with disc involvement were considered surgical cases. However, recent research has discovered that disc bulges and herniations found on MRI may have no clinical significance. This means that a great percentage of herniated or bulging discs identified on MRI could resolve naturally without surgical intervention. Most back pain experts agree that a minimum of two months of conservative care should be implemented prior to invasive procedures such as surgical intervention for treatment of disc disease. The following conservative care options have been shown to decrease disc inflammation, decrease muscle spasm and pain, and possibly initiate disc regression and resorption:
- Chiropractic adjustments and manipulation
- Physical therapy
- Electrotherapy such as electrical stimulation and ultrasound
If there is no change in your back pain, then proceeding to more invasive procedures such as epidural injections and vertebroplasty and finally, surgical interventions such as laminectomy, discectomy and vertebral fusion should be considered. As always, contact a physician (chiropractor, orthopedist or neurosurgeon) to discuss your options. These recommendations are used for informational purposes only.
Please consult with your physician regarding any health questions.
Dr. Andrew Dykeman is a chiropractic physician and sole proprietor of Rosewood Chiropractic Clinic in East Alton. Dykeman can be contacted at (618) 259-2676.