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Posted on 02-25-2015

Experiencing lower back pain, and want to consult a Chiropractor? Naturally, you want to know what’s important to consider during your visit. Here are some thoughts on that.

Make sure your Chiropractor focuses on getting an accurate diagnosis.

It’s not uncommon for all back pain to be considered alike but it’s not the case. Effective treatment is based on the elements of your specific condition. Different diagnoses require different treatment approaches. The sooner an accurate diagnosis is made, the sooner you can improve your ability to enjoy everyday activities.

Diagnosis starts with examining the source of the pain. There are many anatomical structures in the lower back that can cause severe lower back pain. These include:

  • Soft tissue
  • Bone
  • Facet joints
  • Discs
  • Nerves

All of the above structures interconnect to make up the human spine. A problem with any one of these can be the impetus behind back pain. Often times, there is more than one contributor to back pain at the same time.  Approximately 67% of low back pain comes from two of these sources: discs and joints. (Refer to Chart 1.)

Chart 1

When determining the cause of lower back pain, the type of lower back pain, a description of how the pain feels, when it is felt and the area of pain distribution (where the pain is felt), help guide your Chiropractor in making a preliminary diagnosis and determining an appropriate treatment plan.

An accurate clinical diagnosis for the patient’s back pain is based on combining the following three pieces of information:

  • The patient’s specific symptoms.
  • The professional’s findings from an exam.
  • The findings of diagnostic tests.

By the time a Chiropractor orders diagnostic tests such as an x-ray or MRI scan, they will have a strong suspicion as to the cause of your lower back pain and the diagnostic test is used to confirm it and provide more detail.

Despite all the advances in medical care for back pain, there is still a lot that science does not yet understand. In particular, the causes of back pain can be very complex. This is where partnering with an experienced Chiropractor can make a world of difference in recovery time. Taking an active role in the treatment can get you on the road to recovery sooner.

In conclusion, remember, no two backs are the same and no two cases of back pain are the same. A Chiropractor, will take the time to understand and assess your specific condition and take the time to explain it to you. The efficacy of your treatment depends on it. If you are currently experiencing lower back pain and would like to see Dr. Donovan, please contact us to schedule an appointment.

Notes:

  1. Bogduk N. The anatomical basis for spinal pain syndromes. JMPT 1995;18(9):603-5.
  2. Schwarzer AC, Aprill CN, Derby R, Fortin J, Kine G, Bogduk N. The prevalence and clinical features of internal disk disruption in patients with chronic low back pain. Spine 1995;20(10):1115-22.
  3. Schwarzer AC, Aprill CN, Derby R, Fortin J, Kine G, Bogduk N. Clinical features of patients with pain stemming from the lumbar zygapophyseal joints. Is the lumbar facet syndrome a clinical entity. Spine 1994;19:1132-37.
  4. Schwarzer AC, Aprill CN, Bogduk N. The sacroiliac joint in chronic low back pain. Spine 1995;20(1):31-7.Murphy DR, ed. Conservative management of cervical spine syndromes. New York:McGraw-Hill, 2000.

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