Common mistakes made when self-diagnosing back pain

Most people endure back pain at some point in life, whether caused by an injury, a bad night of sleep or a spine condition. With age, many people will develop a degenerative spine condition like arthritis of the spine or degenerative disc disease that causes some level of pain and discomfort. However, not everyone who experiences back pain seeks professional medical attention.

Some people will try to self-diagnose and treat back pain exclusively with at-home methods and remedies. While it is important to be as educated as possible as a patient about the potential causes and treatments of your symptoms, there are many mistakes that can be made. Treatment for back pain should be chosen specifically according to your condition and your medical history. Some patients who attempt to treat their back pain without medical consultation may negatively impact their spine condition and cause more pain than what they originally experienced.

If you have chronic back pain and are considering trying some home remedies to find pain relief, we strongly encourage you to consult your doctor first. Our goal is to help you find pain relief for your back pain, which includes helping you find the right treatment option. Your doctor can determine the best treatment plan by diagnosing the source of your pain and reviewing your medical history. You will have better pain relief results by consulting a qualified medical professional than by attempting to heal yourself.

Common mistakes made when looking for relief from back pain

The Internet can be a great source of treatments for back pain, but the problem with treatment plans found online is that they are not personalized. For example, you might find an article about stretches that heal lower back pain. However, the ideal stretches for a herniated disc may be different than the stretches required for spondylitis. The at-home remedy you are trying might not even be related to your spine condition, which means you won’t find any results from it.

Here are some of the specific mistakes a patient may make when trying to self-diagnose and treat a spine condition:

  • Guessing the likely cause of back pain. An accurate diagnosis requires a review of medical history, specific movement tests and diagnostic tests like an X-ray, CT scan or MRI.
  • Not making the right lifestyle changes. Lifestyle factors like being overweight, practicing poor posture and using tobacco products are often associated with chronic back pain, but you should still consult with your doctor to develop a personalized plan that is right for your needs.
  • Becoming too sedentary. Rest is an important part of the treatment process, but it can actually worsen your spine health if you become too inactive. For people with a spine condition, safely exercising to improve mobility and strengthen supporting muscles may require the assistance of a physical therapist.

Contact Laser Spine Institute

If you are suffering from chronic back pain, we encourage you to work with your doctor before beginning any type of treatment plan. You can also reach out to our caring team to discuss your symptoms and learn more about the treatment options for your back pain. For those who have been diagnosed with a spine condition, Laser Spine Institute provides minimally invasive spine surgery that is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open neck or back procedures.^

We are pleased to offer a no-cost review of your MRI or CT scan* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.