Roughly 90 percent of the population will experience back pain at one time or another. In fact, lower back pain is the leading cause of workplace disability in the world, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Since spine-related aches and pains are so common, it’s not unusual for someone experiencing back pain to be hesitant to seek help, even if it’s just in the form of a visit to their regular physician. If you know someone living with recurring or persistent back pain, here are some things to say to convince them to seek help.
There’s Better Diagnostic Testing Today
Let your friend or family member know that testing today is much more precise, less intrusive, and less time-consuming than it used to be. The process of diagnosing back pain typically starts with a physical exam, which is still pretty much what it has always been in terms of how it’s done and what’s looked for. The big difference today is with diagnostic testing. It now includes many different options, from nerve conduction studies to highly precise imaging tests. Plus, if a patient is fairly descriptive about symptoms and what they’ve been experiencing, a diagnosis will likely be more accurate.
Surgery Isn’t the Only Option
Treatment for back pain won’t necessarily involve surgery. The reality for many patients is that surgery is often the last option unless symptoms are severe or potentially life-threatening. Many patients end up benefiting from a combination of lifestyle adjustments and non-surgical treatments.
Options of this nature may include:
Getting Answers Can Boost Peace of Mind
Even if it turns out that back pain is being caused by something that’s going to take some time to resolve, it can be comforting for your friend or loved one to know for sure what’s going on. This also eliminates the mental stress that goes along with making assumptions and the potential risks involved with self-treatment efforts that don’t really treat the actual source of the problem.
Back Pain Affects More Than the Affected Person
A friend or loved one with back pain may assume their discomfort is only affecting them, but this is often not the case. For instance, aches and pains triggered by certain movements could make it difficult to care for younger children or grandchildren. It could also be difficult to lend a hand with work-related tasks or help out an elderly family member.
Seeking Treatment Sooner Rather Than Later Could Improve Quality of Life
If someone you know who’s living with back pain needs a little more convincing beyond what’s already been covered, focus on the potential to improve the quality of daily life. This could involve being able to play with kids in the backyard again or participate in favorite pastime activities of a more physical nature, like golf, tennis, or competitive running, without distracting pain.
Ultimately, acting early means someone living with back pain will be more likely to respond well to treatment recommendations. Plus, someone special in your life will absolutely appreciate the extra nudge when it comes to dealing with back pain and the potential for much-appreciated relief.