Most people suffer from back pain at least once in their lives. It’s one of the most common reasons people miss work or go to the doctor. It’s also a leading cause of disability. Back pain isn’t a disorder; rather, it’s a symptom of an underlying problem. Luckily, most cases of back pain can be treated at home without the need for surgery or other invasive treatments.
WHO IS AT RISK FOR BACK PAIN?
Anybody can suffer from back pain. There are some things that make people more likely to develop back pain, such as age (back pain becomes more common after 30 or 40), lack of exercise, excess weight, certain diseases (like arthritis or cancer), improper lifting techniques, smoking, a sedentary career, failing to stretch before exercising, and some psychological conditions.
BACK PAIN SYMPTOMS
Symptoms of back pain may vary depending on whether it’s lower back pain or upper back pain and what condition is causing the pain. Common symptoms include dull muscle ache; shooting or stabbing pain; pain that radiates down one leg; pain that improves when sitting or lying down; not being able to stand up straight without pain; a reduced range of motion; and pain that worsens with bending, lifting, standing, or walking. Talk to a doctor if your back pain causes bowel or bladder problems; is accompanied by a fever; comes after a fall or other injury; is severe and doesn’t improve with rest; spreads down one or both legs; comes with unexplained weight loss; or causes weakness, numbness, or tingling.
Diagnosis and Back Pain Treatment
There are many different ways to diagnose back pain. While back pain can occasionally be diagnosed based on just a description of symptoms, additional testing is often needed. This testing may include an assessment of your ability to sit, stand, walk, and lift your legs; x-rays; MRI or CT scans; blood or urine tests; bone scans; or nerve studies. Treatment often depends on the underlying cause of the back pain. Typical treatments may include stretching or other prescribed exercises, relaxation techniques, home remedies, pain relievers, chiropractic care, massage, ice or heat, medication, or surgery.
How PlushCare Works
1. Video chat with your PlushCare doctor and describe your symptoms and medical history. 2. Your PlushCare doctor can prescribe medicines such as antibiotics and make other treatment recommendations. 3. Pick up your prescription at your pharmacy and be feeling better soon.