Pain anywhere in the body is something that people like to avoid, but back pain is one of the areas that can actually cause debilitating and life-altering effects depending on the severity of the pain. If you’re suffering from back pain, figuring out what’s causing it is the first step towards feeling better. 

Diagnosing Back Pain

Back pain is diagnosed in a number of ways. at first, your doctor will probably ask you to describe the pain, rate the pain, and evaluate your physical ability to walk or move with the pain. If your doctor is concerned there may be a more severe injury or an underlying condition causing your back pain, they might order a variety of tests including: 

  • X-ray
  • CT Scan
  • MRI
  • Nerve studies 

Chronic vs Acute Back Pain

There are two major types of back pain. The first is chronic back pain. Chronic back pain refers to back pain that is long lasting and recurrent. This might be residual pain from an injury that occurred years ago, or pain associated with an underlying medical condition. Treating chronic back pain is an ongoing process that requires close monitoring and adjustment to your treatment plan. 

The second type of back pain is acute. Acute back pain is pain that occurs suddenly, often as a result of a fall or injury. Acute back pain is scary for patients and interrupts their lives suddenly, so getting it treated quickly is vital. Acute back pain can be caused from pulled muscles, fractures, herniated discs, and more. 

Treating Back Pain

Getting your back pain treated quickly is important to help reduce the risk of further injury, encourage healing, and get you back to normal life. Back pain treatment is different for each person, but some common treatment options include: 

  • Pain relievers – for mild back pain, your doctor may advise you to use over the counter pain relievers
  • Muscle relaxers – when pain relievers aren’t enough, muscle relaxants can be a very useful treatment option, especially if your pain is from a muscle sprain or strain. 
  • Topical pain reliever – creams and gels can provide pain relief on the surface. These are almost always used in conjunction with another treatment method
  • Injections – for quick relief of back pain, your doctor may give you an injection that include a muscle relaxer or pain reliever 

If you’re suffering from back pain, visit a local urgent care center or walk-in clinic to get treatment started today!