Diagnosing Your Back Pain

If you’re one of the 16 million American adults living with persistent and disruptive back pain, you want relief, and you want it now. Whether you’ve been in and out of doctors’ offices or are just starting to look for help, it’s essential to work with a doctor who will identify and treat the condition causing your pain. Otherwise, you’re merely masking your pain and setting yourself up for a lifetime of back problems. 

Sachida Manocha, MD, of Interventional Pain Center in Worthington and Newark, Ohio, offers comprehensive exams and diagnostic testing to identify the root causes of back pain

Causes of back pain

Pain can originate in any of the bones, muscles, nerves, or connective tissues of your back. Some of the most common causes of back pain include:

Certain factors, such as obesity, poor posture, sedentary lifestyle, and physically demanding careers, can all influence your chances of developing a chronic back pain issue. 

When to talk to a doctor about back pain

You should make an appointment with Dr. Manocha here at Interventional Pain Center if you have back pain that persists for more than a couple of days. Most of the time, minor injuries will heal on their own with rest, ice, heat, and over-the-counter pain relievers. 

You should also schedule a consultation if your pain interferes with your ability to walk or sleep. Signs of nerve compression or damage, such as numbness, tingling, or electrical sensations in your limbs, are another sign that you need medical attention.

Diagnosing back pain

We use a variety of diagnostic tools to identify the root causes of back pain and evaluate their effects on our patients. Here are some of the tools we use: 

Physical exam

A physical exam is the first step in diagnosing the cause of your back pain. We review your symptoms, lifestyle, and medical history, before examining your spine, muscles, and connective tissues. We might ask you to walk around the office or perform some stretches. For example, we might ask you to lie on your back and raise one of your legs somewhat. If this causes pain, this may be due to sciatica. 

Diagnostic imaging

Depending on what we find during your exam, we might order diagnostic imaging studies, such as X-rays and ultrasounds. These procedures allow us to visualize your bones and other tissues to identify certain issues, such as compression fractures, osteoporosis, spinal tumors, and herniated discs. 

Nerve conduction studies

If we suspect a neurological problem, we might perform nerve conduction studies to evaluate your nerve function and locate nerve damage. To do this, we attach sticky electrodes to your body and send a mild electrical pulse into your body. One electrode sends the pulse, and another picks it up, allowing us to see how the pulse travels through your nerves. 

Nerve blocks

While nerve blocks are an effective treatment for nerve-related back pain, we also use this procedure to pinpoint the location of the neurological source of pain. A nerve block can also help us determine if a treatment, such as radiofrequency ablation or spinal cord stimulation, may be able to help relieve your pain. 

If you have chronic or disruptive back pain, book an appointment online or over the phone with Interventional Pain Center today. We offer state-of-the-art diagnostics to ensure you get the treatment you need.

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