Who should you go to first when you suffer from back pain?

The approach to treating back pain curT rently is unlike most other branches of medicine. If one were to consider the cardiac domain, a person with a cardiac condition will first meet with a cardiologist. The first diagnosis prescribed is a test to check the function, an ECG or a stress test. An angiography or an imaging diagnostic test is prescribed only in the event of a compromise in function. However, the first step suggested to diagnose back pain is most likely an imaging test like an MRI or an X-Ray , which shows a static image of spinal bones, but not the spinal muscles. Studies have confirmed that these imaging tests are successful in identi fying a direct correlation between the pain symptom and the cause in only 15% of back pain cases, as these tests do not check the function of the spine like a stress test does in the case of the heart.This is why 85% of back pain cases are termed as `non-specific back pain’.

The root cause of back pain in over 80% of cases lies in the muscles that support the spine.If the mechanical structure of the spine is unable to take the load, then the excess load is transferred to the bones and the jelly like discs that act as shock absorbers. The spine is the nerve centre of the body with a complex structure of over 160 muscles supporting the spinal column and one must be a specialist to treat spine muscle disorders.

The doctors at Qi Spine Clinic are just these, the specialists. The case of Albert Noronha highlights this. Having suffered from chronic lower back pain for 20 years, Noronha did an MRI, which highlighted the need for surgery . He underwent two surgeries but with limited success as he again developed severe lower back pain and a pain that radiated down his leg. At Qi Spine Clinic, doctors careful ly diagnosed the condition using the spine function test, Digital Spine Analysis and customised a programme of controlled movements through 24 sessions.Noronha has seen pain reduce significantly and a consistent strengthening of the back muscles has removed the need of a third surgery.

Source: TOI

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