Back Pain Treatment Questions and Answers
If you would like more information about sports injury treatment services or an At Immediate Care of Oklahoma, our doctors and medical professionals have plenty of experience and expertise in treating back pain with skill and success. For more information, call us now or schedule an appointment online. We have convenient locations to serve you in Oklahoma City, OK.
Back pain can have a significantly negative impact on your day-to-day quality of life. If you are experiencing back pain, whether acute or chronic, we would be pleased to help you find relief!
What causes back pain?
Back pain can occur due to a broad range of possible causes, including acute injuries, repetitive strain injuries, degenerative conditions, neuropathic conditions, and more. Some common causes of back pain include the following:
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Arthritis of the spine
- Bulging, herniated, ruptured or slipped discs
- Cervical radiculopathy
- Degenerative disc disease
- Discitis or osteomyelitis.
- Emotional stress and muscle tension
- Kidney stones or infections
- Muscle spasms or strains
- Sacroiliac (SI) joint inflammation or degeneration
- Spinal misalignment
- Spinal stenosis
- Spine or vertebral fractures
- Sprained ligament
- Whiplash from a car accident
What is the difference between chronic and acute back pain?
The difference between chronic and acute back pain is based on how long the symptoms last. Back pain is referred to as chronic if it develops gradually and lasts for more than three months, or occurs intermittently over a span of a minimum of six months. In contrast, acute back pain typically develops suddenly due to an identifiable injury but usually resolves on its own or with treatment within a few days or up to six weeks.
How do I know if back pain is serious?
While back pain is often benign and temporary, there are also many times when back pain can be a sign of a serious injury or condition. As such, some signs that your back pain is serious include the following:
- Balance issues
- Difficulty concentrating or performing routine tasks due to pain on a daily basis, such as walking, climbing, or standing
- Numbness or tingling
- Pain lasting longer than three months
- Sexual dysfunction
- Trouble sleeping or pain that frequently wakes you up in the middle of the night
- Unhealthy reliance on pain relievers
In rare cases, back pain could be a sign of a medical emergency, in which case you should go to your nearest emergency room, or call 911. Some signs that your back pain could be a sign of a medical emergency include the following:
- Back pain that occurs due to a fall or severe blow to the spinal cord
- High fever
- Loss of bladder function
- Severe stomach pain
- Sudden or dramatic increase in discomfort, pain, or weakness
- Unexplained weight loss
How is back pain diagnosed?
Back pain is typically diagnosed with a combination of lab tests, medical imaging, and physical examinations. The doctor may diagnose your back pain by assessing your ability to sit, stand, walk and lift your legs. They will also ask you questions about the severity of your pain, how it affects your ability to function normally, when the pain started, and what makes the pain worse or better.
In addition to general observations and questions, your doctor may also conduct any of the following tests to determine the cause of your back pain:
- Blood tests
- Bone scan
- Nerve conduction test, such as an electromyography (EMG) test
- Computerized tomography (CT) scans
- Medical resonance imaging (MRI) scans
- X-ray imaging
For more information about back pain treatment or an appointment with us at Immediate Care of Oklahoma, we welcome you to call us, schedule an appointment through our website, or visit one of our seven clinics for a walk-in appointment in Oklahoma. We serve patients from West Moore OK, Norman (HealthPlex) OK, Norman (24th) OK, Edmond OK, Yukon OK, I-240 & Sooner RD OK, Tecumseh OK, and Bethany OK.