Back pain is one of the most common health complaints, yet it can be difficult to diagnose. The cause of back pain can range from a simple muscle strain to something more serious such as an injury or a degenerative condition. In order to accurately diagnose back pain, doctors must consider many factors and use a variety of diagnostic tests to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan for a patient.
In this article, we will talk about how doctors diagnose back pain, and where in Rochester Hills you can go to have your back pain evaluated by a doctor.
Medical History Review
The first step when diagnosing low back pain is for the doctor to take a detailed medical history, including information about any existing conditions or injuries that may have led to back pain. It’s important for patients to also provide details on how long they have been experiencing their symptoms and what makes them feel better or worse. This helps physicians rule out certain causes, such as kidney stones, which require different treatments than orthopedic issues like sprains and strains.
The next step is usually a physical examination, where the doctor feels your lower back and palpates it to check for lumps, redness, warmth, and swelling. This is another essential step in diagnosing back problems since it also allows clinicians to check your flexibility, assess joint mobility, and observe your posture. A physical exam will help the doctor identify the presence of any deformities associated with scoliosis, which is a condition that causes the spine to have an abnormal curvature.
Doctors also often order medical imaging scans, such as X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs, which allow your doctor to look at the inner structures of your body, such as your lumbar spine, and check for fractures, disc herniation, injuries, and inflammation. The images help identify the source of pain in your lower back and to confirm a suspected diagnosis without having to resort to invasive surgery.
What Are The Possible Causes of Low Back Pain?
There are many possible causes of lower back pain. Your symptoms could be due to any of the following:
- Poor posture
- Muscle strain
- Herniated discs
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Lifestyle causes, such as inactivity and obesity
If you have lower back pain, see an orthopedic spine surgeon if the pain lasts for weeks or if it keeps getting worse. It is worth getting it looked at by a professional. After all, spine health is very important, and you can benefit from treatments that target low back pain.
Spine Surgeon in Rochester Hills, Bad Axe, and Lapeer, Michigan
Dr. Bradley Ahlgren at Ahlgren Spine is a board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon, as well as a member of the esteemed Michigan Orthopaedic & Spine Surgeons. He is highly experienced in treating patients with low back pain due to degenerative disc disease, bulging discs, and disc herniation. Dr. Ahlgren offers non-surgical treatments to relieve pain and is trained in the latest, minimally invasive techniques to treat disc problems.
Find out what Dr. Ahlgren recommends to help resolve your low back pain. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Ahlgren, call our office today at (248) 215-8080, text or call (248) 840-2035, or use our online request form.