Why is Back Pain Hard to Diagnose?
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Why is Back Pain Hard to Diagnose?

Southwest Physical Therapy

Diagnosing the root cause of back pain requires time, expert physicians, and collaboration between different medical professionals, such as primary care doctors, physical therapists, physiatrists, and orthopedic physicians, to name a few. While back pain is exceedingly common, it is equally challenging to diagnose, since there is no established guideline or protocol to evaluate this problem.

The specific source of pain can be challenging to identify

The potential underlying causes of back pain are many:

Problems may occur within anatomical structures, such as spinal nerve roots, lower back muscles, vertebral bones and joints, intervertebral discs, and/or organs in the abdominal cavity.

 Your nerves may send abnormal pain signals to your brain, resulting in neuropathic back pain.

Back pain may also be caused by stress, depression, anxiety, etc

Diagnostic tests have limited value:

The preeminent problem is that there is no single diagnostic test that can provide an accurate back pain diagnosis. So then, many diagnostic tests have limited value, and some, such as diagnostic nerve block injections may also provide false-positive or false-negative results.

Of course, this does not mean that your medical professional cannot diagnose your back condition. Certain common conditions, like a lumbar herniated disc that leads to sciatica symptoms, can often be diagnosed quickly and accurately through a variety of clinical tests, questions, and medical imaging scans.

Your lifestyle may be a hidden cause:

Oftentimes, you may receive an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan, but your back pain may remain the same, recur, or worsen with time. Living a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, excessive intake of inflammatory foods, alcohol, and getting insufficient sleep, may be a few hidden causes. Psychosocial factors, such as stress and anxiety can also cause or add to existing back pain.
Myofascial Release Therapy helps to relieve back pain by releasing the tissues at the target point. Here at Southwest Physical Therapy we care for you.

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