Most people experience some form of back pain at one time or another, and it’s often temporary. Even so, there are some mistakes you can make that can unintentionally make your back pain worse. Knowing what actions you’re taking that could be contributing to your discomfort may make your back pain a distant memory sooner rather than later.
1. Relying on Your Regular Doctor Only
Though it’s good to let your primary care physician know you’re experiencing back pain, he or she may not be able to provide an accurate diagnosis. Ask for a referral to a specialist if initial treatment suggestions aren’t providing relief, with possible options including:
- Board-certified back doctors
2. Opting for Surgery Too Soon
There’s often no urgency to get back surgery. Give non-surgical options time to work before considering surgery. Conditions like degenerative disc disease and herniated discs often respond better to physical therapy and lifestyle adjustments.
3. Delaying Surgery for Too Long
Whether or not you should hold off on surgery depends on the source of your back pain. If you’re experiencing radiating pain from compression on a nerve root or general muscle weakness from nerve pressure (radiculopathy), choosing surgery sooner may prevent serious nerve damage.
4. Resting or Staying Inactive
Resting for back pain is fine initially, but long-term inactivity will only weaken the muscles supporting your spine. Keeping your core muscles strong can minimize stress on your back.
5. Relying Solely on Image Tests
Back pain is highly subjective. Just because an X-ray or an MRI or CT scan shows no evidence of pain related to a joint, disc, or vertebra doesn’t mean there aren’t other factors contributing to your pain. Underlying issues may include:
- Conditions such as diabetes or arthritis
- Dietary issues or habits like smoking
- Issues with posture or spinal alignment
Back pain that isn’t going away or getting worse isn’t likely to magically disappear. If home remedies such as temporary rest or the use of a heating pad or ice pack aren’t helping, get a diagnosis from your doctor or see a specialist.
If back pain is affecting your quality of life, it might be time to consider your options for surgery or another form of treatment. Dr. Bae and his team of expert surgeons at The Spine Institute can diagnose the source of your pain and suggest appropriate treatment options. To learn more about the spinal fusion, disc replacement, and spinal cord stimulator surgery Beverly Hills spine surgeons provide, give us a call at 310-828-7757 today.