The Doctor Is In : Back Pain - FOX 32 News Chicago


The Doctor Is In : Back Pain

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(WJBK) - On Wednesday, join Fox 2's Deena Centofanti and two specialists from Henry Ford Hospital as they discuss the different levels of back pain and how to treat it.

Eighty percent of all people in the United States will have back pain at some point in their lives, and it's the most common physical condition for which people visit their doctors.

Beginning at 8:35 a.m., ask questions in the chat room above.

About Back Pain

Lower back pain is one of the most common ailments in the U.S. At least once in their lives, about 80 percent of all Americans will experience lower back pain that can range from a dull ache to absolute agony. And, on any given day, over 6.5 million Americans are under some sort of treatment for lower back pain.

Also at some time in their lives, most people will experience pain in their upper back or neck. After all, the spine bears the full load of the body's weight and daily movement. This constant repetitive motion wears on the spine. Certain factors can make the spine more prone to injury, such as poor posture, weakened muscles, stress, smoking and being overweight. That's why back pain can be caused not only by injury from a fall or accident, but also by improper lifting, sudden twisting or turning of the body, or even something as simple as bending over to pick up a sock.

Don’t ignore back pain. It is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong, and may require attention from a back and spine care specialist.

Tending to Back Injuries

If you injure your back and believe that the injury involves a disc, the first things to do are:

Lie down on a bed or couch in a comfortable position.
Use anti-inflammatory medication (aspirin, ibuprofen or prescription drugs).
Apply heat or cold, whichever feels better.

When to See a Back Pain and Spine Care Specialist

If your pain does not subside, you should see a back pain and spine care specialist to assess the injury. In addition to a complete medical history and physical exam, the doctor may order blood tests or x-rays. A disc, which is not calcified, cannot be seen on a normal X-ray but can be picked up easily on a CT or MRI scan.
See a specialist if:
Your back pain suddenly worsens
Your back pain gets worse instead of better as the days go by
Your back pain stops you from moving and you cannot find any relief from anti-inflammatory pain medication, heat or ice or resting in bed or in a chair
You have back pain and unexplained weight loss or night sweats
You have back pain and a history of cancer
Your back pain is associated with leg numbness or constant leg pain
Your back pain is not gone after six weeks of self-care
You have repeated bouts of back pain

When to Seek Immediate Medical Attention for Your Back Pain
You have back pain and problems controlling your bowel or bladder or have loss of sexual function
You have back pain and numbness in your groin or rectal area
You have back pain and leg weakness
You have back pain and fever or chills
You develop back pain after a traumatic event


Dr. Jack Rock
Neurosurgeon, Henry Ford Hospital

Karen Newton
 Physical Therapist, Henry Ford Health System, Novi
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