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  • Richard R. Fay, DC

Experiencing Back Pain? How We Can Help

Updated: Aug 25

DuPage Health and Physical Therapy treats more than just back pain, although many patients initially visit looking for relief from this pervasive condition. They are not alone, in fact, about 31 million Americans experience low back pain at any given time.*





What Causes Back Pain?


The back is a complicated structure of bones, joints, ligaments and muscles. You can sprain ligaments, strain muscles, rupture disks, and irritate joints, all of which can lead to back pain. While sports injuries or accidents can cause back pain, sometimes the simplest of movements—for example, picking up a pencil from the floor— can have painful results. In addition, arthritis, poor posture, obesity, and psychological stress can cause or complicate back pain. Back pain can also directly result from disease of the internal organs, such as kidney stones, kidney infections, blood clots or bone loss.

Your First Visit


Many new patients are not sure what to expect during their first appointment with a doctor of chiropractic. Dr. Fay starts by asking patients questions to gather information about their present condition and health history, and then performing a physical examination to develop a working diagnosis. Imaging or lab tests (such as MRI, CT scan or X-ray) are typically used to confirm a diagnosis. 

The combination of the history, exam and diagnostic studies will enable Dr.Fay to reach a diagnosis, which will in turn help him to determine whether chiropractic services are appropriate for your condition. If Dr. Fay determines you would be more appropriately managed or co-managed by another health care professional, he will make the proper referral. 

Through a process of shared decision-making, you and Dr. Fay will determine if chiropractic services are right for you. As part of this process, Dr. Fay will explain your condition, recommend a treatment plan and review the risks and benefits of all procedures. 

Based on the extent, timing or severity of a patient’s condition, chiropractic interventions may require several visits. Patients may also receive advice on home care, lifestyle modifications, exercise instruction and nutrition.  


Interesting Facts about Back Pain

  • Worldwide, back pain is the single leading cause of disability, preventing many people from engaging in work as well as other everyday activities.**

  • Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work. One-half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year.***

  • Back pain accounts for more than 264 million lost work days in one year—that’s two work days for every full-time worker in the country.****

  • Experts estimate that up to 80% of the population will experience back pain at some time in their lives.*****

  • Back pain can affect people of all ages, from adolescents to the elderly.*****

  • Back pain is the third most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, behind skin disorders and osteoarthritis/joint disorders.******

  • Most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic—meaning they are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer.*******

  • Most people with low back pain recover, however recurrence is common and for a small percentage of people, the condition will become chronic and disabling.*******

  • Worldwide, years lived with disability caused by low back pain have increased by 54% between 1990 and 2015.*******

  • Low back pain costs Americans at least $50 billion in health care costs each year8—add in lost wages and decreased productivity and that figure easily rises to more than $100 billion.*********










References:

  1. Jensen M, Brant-Zawadzki M, Obuchowski N, et al. Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Lumbar Spine in People Without Back Pain. N Engl J Med 1994; 331: 69-116. *

  2. Hoy D, March L, Brooks P, et al The global burden of low back pain: estimates from the Global Burden of Disease 2010 study Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases Published Online First: 24 March 2014. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2013-204428 **

  3. Vallfors B. Acute, Subacute and Chronic Low Back Pain: Clinical Symptoms, Absenteeism and Working Environment. Scan J Rehab Med Suppl 1985; 11: 1-98 ***.

  4. The Hidden Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans, United State Bone and Joint Initiative, 2018. ****

  5. Rubin Dl. Epidemiology and Risk Factors for Spine Pain. Neurol Clin. 2007; May;25(2):353-71. *****

  6. Sauver, JL et al. Why patients visit their doctors: Assessing the most prevalent conditions in a defined American population. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Volume 88, Issue 1, 56–67. ****** 

  7. Hartvigsen J et al. Low Back Pain Series: What Low Back Pain Is and Why We Need to Pay Attention. Lancet, June 2018; Volume 391, Issue 10137; p2356-2367. *******

  8. In Project Briefs: Back Pain Patient Outcomes Assessment Team (BOAT). In MEDTEP Update, Vol. 1 Issue 1, Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, Rockville, MD. ********

  9. Katz JN. Lumbar disc disorders and low-back pain: socioeconomic factors and consequences [review]. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2006;88(suppl 2): 21-24. *********



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