Lower back pain is one of the most common reasons people seek care from a primary care physician. Pain is a symptom caused by some other ailment, just like a cough or cold might be a symptom of sinusitis. And just like a cough or cold, the vast majority of lower back pain improves on its own no matter what you do to treat it.
Patients who experience lower back pain that persists for a long time should seek treatment from a physician to determine what’s causing the lower back pain and to find the best way to treat it. As a physician trained in Osteopathic Manual Manipulation, I understand the complicated musculoskeletal system better than most primary physicians and can help you find relief.
Danger of Leaving Low Back Pain Untreated
If you leave low back pain untreated, it sometimes develops into a chronic condition because things around it start to destabilize. When your back hurts all of the time, you quit exercising, you quit moving, and that leads you to becoming weaker. Your stomach muscles and legs get weaker, which causes a whole cascade of other problems where things start to decompensate and it gets harder to get better.
Oftentimes, lower back pain improves on its own over time. When it doesn’t, we work to return a patient to normal functioning through OMM, physical therapy, medical injections, or even surgery, if we determine that's the right course of action. Our first job is to figure out what's wrong with someone and what’s the best way to get them back to doing the things they want to do.
People often think bed rest is the best way to relieve lower back pain. In most cases, that's the worst thing you can do because it just adds to the chronic decompensation.
Treating Lower Back Pain with OMM and DPC
The advantage in seeing an osteopathic physician (D.O.) for low back pain is that, in addition to all the other modalities we've been trained in, we are specialists in osteopathic manual medicine, which works to bring the tissues of the body back into balance with one another and with the body’s other systems. With extensive knowledge of the musculoskeletal system, a D.O. can help you get stronger and do the things you want to do.
Treating lower back pain also gets expensive when a patient needs to schedule repeated visits with a primary care physician. An OMM specialist who operates under the Direct Primary Care model of providing healthcare offers unlimited visits at a set monthly rate to patients who need long-term care or frequent appointments with a physician.
If your pain requires certain medical injections, extra expense may be involved in the cost of care, but the vast majority of OMM treatment by a DPC physician is included in the monthly fee. We treat patients with chronic problems or those experiencing episodic flare-ups as often as needed, which relieves the burden of paying extra for additional office visits to a physician.
Difficult to Diagnose Lower Back Pain
I find treating lower back pain really interesting, and I always strive to determine what’s causing the pain. There's only so much we can do to diagnose the cause, and in only a small number of cases can we actually prove that one specific thing caused the lower back pain.
Most of the time, because of the complexity of the lower back functioning, we can never exactly pinpoint one single cause. In most cases, there isn't a single cause. There are typically a whole host of things that happen to cause persistent back pain.
That's where people often get frustrated. They want to pinpoint the cause and treat it, but it’s not that simple. We can tell when somebody has a tumor and we can tell when somebody has a herniated disc, but many causes of lower back pain are not readily identifiable. With osteopathic manual manipulation, we focus on restoring normal functioning to your entire body.
If you would like to learn more about treating your lower back pain with OMM, please send us a message at Schuster Family Medicine & Osteopathic Manual Medicine or give us a call at (317) 434-1750. Let’s determine what we can do to get you back to functioning and feeling better.