What is wrong in me? Chronic back pain isn’t a diagnosis ?
If you or one of your beloved people has lower back pain that the doctors cannot cure, you are in a right place. Let me guess what condition you have:
- Perhaps you have pain in your back, muscles, or joints for which you have undergone every available medical test and procedures.
- Maybe you have seen several doctors and have had a number of tests or procedures only to be given an incorrect diagnosis, a contradictory diagnosis, or no diagnosis at all.
- Possibly your doctor, family, or friends think that your pain is psychosomatic. They advised you to see a psychotherapist.
- However, you feel something like a disease inside. Others notion to you angers you, frustrates you and you feel helpless.
If you have an undiagnosed or a misdiagnosed back pain, you are not alone. Millions of patients suffer from mysterious symptoms along with back pain and cannot obtain a correct diagnosis or relief. In our discussion, you may get a guide for what to do.
Why back pain diagnosis is difficult?
Making a correct diagnosis is like interpreting a crime scene. Physical exams and laboratory tests are some weapons to eliminate some of the suspects. However, the culprits have a long list and have many ways to hide and misguide. We have to assess the evidences precisely. It is a fact that, your disease is not doctor’s responsibility only. You have responsibility also. Therefore, you cannot be totally dependent on your doctor to find the cause. This does not mean you replace doctor with yourself. Rather, you should be a helping hand with your doctor. You must learn to become your own medical detective and follow every evidence trail in order to find cause of your back pain.
Factors affecting diagnosis
- Numerous conditions cause back pain and they look alike.
- Your profile might not fit the profile of a typical patient with your condition.
- Your physician may not expert enough to diagnose your condition.
- Sometimes your doctor treats lab reports and sometimes treats symptoms not the disease.
- Sometimes you forget to mention a symptom or a medication you are taking. This might be a significant diagnostic clue for diagnosing your culprit disease. You do that because the symptom is not bothering you or you may be habituated with that. Therefore, you think it is inconsequential or irrelevant. On the other hand, perhaps you have withheld an embarrassing symptom or circumstance, you don’t want to mention.
- Sometimes, medical tests mislead physicians. As we know a variety of factor can influence the reports.
- When you treat yourself, with a specialist of certain specialty he/she is more focused only with the diseases of his/her specialty. Therefore, you do not get a holistic treatment. To avoid this you must undergo a multidisciplinary approach for your back pain.
- You may have an “iatrogenic” condition, meaning that it is caused by the testing, medications, or treatments prescribed by your physicians.
- Again, diseases due to environmental agents are still not well known. Genetically modified foods may also be a potential danger.
- The quest to find genetic links to diseases is still in its infancy.
What do you do to help the doctor diagnose you?
- Record the exact nature of your symptoms. Ask yourself these questions:
What is the exact site of pain?
When it appear?
How much time it stays?
How much severe it is?
What aggravates or relieves pain?
Does activity relieve it? What events precede or follow the pain?
what is it’s character? Example: throbbing, burning, dull etc.
Does it have radiations? Example: to leg.
What is associated with it? Example: urinary problem, conjunctivitis etc.
- Think about the history of your pain in detail. What is duration and duration of recurrence if any?
- What medication or procedure or life event makes your symptoms better (or worse)?
- Search for your family members and blood relatives for such illness.
- Search for other past or present mental problems or other physical problems, you know you have. Review of your body systems. Find any digestive, respiratory, circulatory, skeletal, cardiovascular, lymphatic, endocrine, nervous, muscular, reproductive, and urinary system error. Your medical records will help you to do so.
- Investigate your lifestyle and belief system for any clue of disease.
- Take your notebook to your physician, discuss with him and complete diagnosis. Once diagnosed, you get the proper treatment.