DIFFERENT TYPES OF TESTS FOR BACK PAIN PROBLEMS…

The first thing that most doctors will do when you see them about a persistent case of back pain will be to ask you a series of questions. They’ll want to know when the pain started and for how long you’ve been having it. You may be asked if your family has a history of back pain.

All these questions serve a purpose. The doctor is trying to ascertain if you have chronic pain, acute pain or if there’s some other underlying cause. In most cases, back pain tends to diminish and disappear after about a month or six weeks.

However, if the pain persists, there are a few diagnostic tests that your doctor may resort to. These tests have several purposes. They’ll be able to detect if the back pain is due to a tumor, cancer or some other problem.

If the patient has lost bladder control, it could be a serious problem where the spinal cord is under pressure. These tests will be able to detect why the problem is occurring. There are many possible causes from spinal infections to osteoporosis. These are best detected using advanced diagnostic tests.

X-ray

Of course, this is the most popular and common one that doctors resort to in the first stage. The high frequency radiation, will detect bone problems, tumors, infections, etc. It’s a painless process and this test will reveal several issues that aren’t outwardly visible.

Computed tomography scan

Also known as the ‘CT scan’, this diagnostic test is similar to an X-ray and often done together with a myelogram. A CT scan can detect nerve issues in the back, affected discs, spinal stenosis and much more.

Unlike an X-ray which can be done standing up, a CT scan will require you to lie on a table while your body is scanned.

Magnetic resonance imaging scan (MRI)

Like the CT scan, you’ll need to lie down while the scan is being done. Unlike an X-ray machine, MRI scans use radio and magnetic waves to produce the images that you see on the screen. These scans can detect dehydrated discs, facet joint issues and many other possible causes of back pain.

In many cases, the point of pain may not necessarily be where the pain originates. For example, shooting pains down your leg is an indicator of sciatica. The issue is not with your leg, but your lower back.

Bone scans

This is the type of scan you’d expect to see in a movie. It is very useful for detecting the specific part of the spine where the problem is occurring. The test is done by injecting the patient with a chemical that goes directly into their bloodstream.

The chemical will adhere to parts of the bone that are affected. A special camera is then used to detect the chemical in the body. The parts of the bone that are darker are the parts that are affected. This is an excellent way to detect bone density problems, tumors, infections, etc.

Blood tests

These can help determine whether you have an infection or other condition that might be causing your pain like inflammatory arthritis.

Nerve conduction tests

Electromyography (EMG) measures the electrical impulses produced by the nerves and the responses of your muscles. This test can confirm nerve compression caused by herniated disks or narrowing of your spinal canal (spinal stenosis).

I have personally had all of the above except the bone scans and I have found in the past that the MRI and nerve conduction tests have shown up my problems the best but everyone is different. The 4 scans above are the most commonly used ones. You can also find out lots more on the NHS website.

Your doctor will be the best person to advise you on the different tests and which ones will yield the best results when used to diagnose your condition.

WHEN YOUR HEAD THINKS YOUR IN PAIN…

Pain is a sensation. However, when the unpleasant perception lingers and doesn’t seem to leave you, there could be many explanations as to what is happening to your body. Some pains do linger longer than others, which is why some people can experience lasting complaints. But when it comes to pinpointing why chronic pain exists and where it comes from, doctors are at a loss. More and more neurologists have discussed the possibility of the memory of pain. Indeed, lasting pain triggers a memory reaction in your body and brain. At a physical level, your muscles might tense because they remember the pain that once was. It sends the message to your brain, which matches the tension with the sensation of pain. Sometimes, your mind is starting the process on its own. The fact is that whether your body is in pain or whether your brain thinks you are, it doesn’t change the result for you. But what if you could alleviate the sensation by helping your brain to relax?

When your fear of pain leads to anxiety

When the brain activates the perception of pain, it is typically under a lot of stress, which can cause signals to backfire or reactions to be activated without a physical trigger. The quickest and safest way to recalibrate signals in your brain is to bring new stimuli to the central nervous system. Not having enough serotonin – the happy hormone – can increase your stress and anxiety levels and lead to nervous backfires. You can manage your serotonin levels through prescription drugs, such as Prozac, but you can also use CBD oil to alter serotonin signals. If you’re looking for a cost-effective alternative in the UK, Vsavi has a range of different products available for vaping, vaporising and as drops. More importantly, if you’re worried about getting high, CBD oil is free from THC, the compound that is responsible for psychoactive effects. 

 

Learning new soothing patterns

You can introduce calming and relaxing routines into your lifestyle as a stress relief. Yoga, for instance, offers a healthy mixture of meditative exercises to help you regain control of your thoughts and soothing poses to physically relax tensions. After a yoga seance, you are likely to feel more connected to your body, which encourages your brain to recalibrates signals. Additionally, learning breathing patterns can also alleviate stress before it affects your perception dramatically. High-stress levels are likely to make your brain feel pain where there might not be anything. 

 

Creating positive experiences

Last but not least, a positive mindset can relax the mind. Ultimately, a negative approach to life tends to lower your production of serotonin and endorphin – the feel-good hormones. But something as simple as laughing can address the balance and decrease stress hormones. While it might sound silly, you should try listening to your favourite comedian next time you are experiencing pain. When the brain misfiring triggers the pain, it might completely eliminate the sensation. But it is also useful for physical pain. 

Can you train your brain to reject the perception of pain? Some yogi masters claim it is an option, but it’s fair to say that most of us will never have that level of control on the mind. However, we can disrupt the stress and pain signals and regain control of our lives. 

A GIDE TO INFRARED THERAPY FOR PAIN…

Infrared therapy for pain is a natural, non-invasive treatment for pain relief for all sorts of problems. Knees, in particular, seem to suffer from inflammation of the joints. Other areas include neck pain from a strain or just fatigue from bad posture. Shoulders are another common site for pain and the infrared light therapy can soon improve the circulation around the shoulder to alleviate the pain.

There are many benefits of Infrared therapy for pain which include that it’s been scientifically proven for over 40 years.

You don’t need to visit a hospital or clinic to relish infrared light therapy.

It’s been demonstrated that infrared boosts your blood flow which helps with circulation.

It’s cost-effective and will save you time and money.

This is excellent for the well-being of your heart and has been proven to decrease the accumulation of plaque and fat in your arteries.

Obviously, it is essential that before using any type of light therapy,  you visit your GP to find the reason for your pain and treat which may also be treated with medication.

There are a number of causes that can demonstrate pain including arthritis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome and many more. But, Infrared light therapy is a tested treatment for any condition characterized by pain and inflammation. It improves cellular energy creation, improves blood flow and decreases inflammation.

The point is that the red light dilates the blood vessels and so foster the blood flow. The quantity of infrared rays emitted is based on the size of the particles.

LED technologies for treating arthritis at home, are not merely effective, they’re also very affordable. Saunas are a huge investment, but as soon as they are assembled in your house, they may be used each and every day. There is lots of information about the healing capabilities of Light therapy online and you should research it properly before buying any.

Cordless models offer you more options in regard to use since you don’t have to be near a socket. Another important element is that it must not boost the sensitivity of your skin. The device should have an automated shutdown to avoid an accident but the majority have this anyway.

There isn’t any question that sunlight is essential for health. Infrared light therapy has been shown effective by hundreds of studies all around the planet, it is 100% natural and does not have any known adverse side effects.

 

BACK PAIN DURING PREGNANCY…

Millions of women around the world experience back pain during pregnancy. Usually, it’s one of two types of back pain. The first type is known as PGP, which is an acronym for pelvic girdle pain. This is pain that arises when the pelvic joints are affected.

The second type of pain is more common and arises because of the extra weight the mother is carrying. When there is a child in the tummy, the extra weight in the front, puts pressure on the spine. It makes the back muscles tight, and posture may be compromised too. The ligaments are strained and the back hurts.

The good news is that after pregnancy, the pain will diminish and disappear. However, there are measures that you can take to reduce pregnancy-related back pain.

As they often say, prevention is better than cure. So, it’s best for women to exercise regularly and focus on back and core exercises such as planks, crunches, deadlifts, squats, etc. This will strengthen their body, so that it can withstand the extra weight in the front during a pregnancy.

Of course, this is prior to pregnancy. If you’re already pregnant, and in pain, just follow the tips below.

Always watch your posture

Bad posture is one of the root causes of back pain. The extra weight in front changes your center of gravity. To compensate for this, you should do pelvic tilts often, so that you ease the pressure on your lower back.

Use the right footwear

Forget the high heels and vanity footwear. Get a pair of shoes that provide good support and cushioning.

Sleep correctly

It may be strange to say, ‘sleep correctly’… but it is true. Place a pillow between your legs when you’re sleeping on your side. This will ease pressure on your back. Another tip you should follow is to place a pillow under your belly. When you’re on your side, your swollen tummy will be weighing you down. A support pillow under the tummy will keep things level and balanced without placing tension on your back muscles.

 Do yoga

Certain yoga moves like the cat/cow pose, tabletop, sumo squat, and wide-legged forward bend will help to stretch your back muscles and ease the tension. Another benefit of yoga is that it will improve your blood circulation, and the breathing techniques will oxygenate your blood better. So, you’ll have nutrient-rich blood circulating better around your sore back, and this will alleviate the pain.

Avoid standing for too long

The longer you stand, the more stress your weight places on your back. It’s good to not be in any one position for too long. You must understand that the belly is straining muscles in your back. So, to prevent any one muscle from being strained, it’s best to not be still in one position for too long.

Learn to bend correctly

Ideally, you should learn how to bend and pick up items correctly when you’re pregnant. Going for maternity classes or doing your own research will help you understand how to work with your body so that you don’t end up in pain.

These 6 tips will help most pregnant women reduce the pain in their backs. Besides the methods above, heat and cold treatments will work too. You could give acupressure or acupuncture a try.

Speak to your doctor first before trying anything new. Once you get the ‘go ahead’, you can do what you need to in order to ease your back pain.