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Back Pain Health Center

Medical Reference Related to Back Pain

  1. Evaluating Low Back Pain - Topic Overview

    Your doctor can learn a lot about what is causing low back pain or other symptoms by watching you as you move, and by doing simple tests. Here are some of the things your doctor may do to evaluate your low back pain:Observe how you move. Spasms of the muscles next to the spine can create pain with any of these tests.Walking. You walk while your doctor watches you for things like how you move and carry your body, and whether you limp or favor one leg as you walk. Your doctor may also watch to see how you sit down, lie down, and get up.Flexion. You bend forward and try to touch your toes. If bending forward causes pain, it may mean you have a disc problem.Extension. You hyperextend your back by bending backward. Pain that increases when bending backward (extending the spine) suggests degenerative changes, spinal stenosis, or spondylolisthesis.Rotation and side bending. You rotate your back by keeping your hips still and turning your upper body from side to side to do a rotation test.

  2. Muscle Relaxants

    Drug details for Muscle relaxants for low back pain.

  3. Quick Tips: Using Backpacks Safely - Get started

    Backpacks are handy for carrying books-and lots of other things. But if they’re not used right,they can strain muscles and even cause back pain. Backpack safety is important for everyone. It's especially important for children,who can be hurt by regularly carrying too much weight or by not wearing their backpacks safely. Choose the right backpack Look for these features: Light weight. ...

  4. History and Physical Exam for Low Back Pain

    A thorough history to evaluate low back pain includes an assessment of:Pattern, intensity, and duration of the current episode of low back pain (you may be asked to complete a pain drawing to identify the sites and symptoms of pain). Make sure your doctor understands what brings on or increases your pain and what makes you feel better.Spine problems you have had since birth (congenital spine ...

  5. Use Heat or Ice to Relieve Low Back Pain - Topic Overview

    There is some evidence that heat will help decrease low back pain. There is little proof that cold will help. 1 But some people do find that heat or cold help them. Follow these suggestions if you would like to try heat or cold for low back pain. Heat to relieve low back pain Apply heat for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. Moist heat (hot packs,baths,showers) works better than dry heat. Try an ...

  6. Spondylolisthesis - Topic Overview

    What is spondylolisthesis?Spondylolisthesis is a condition in which one bone in your back (vertebra) slides forward over the bone below it. It most often occurs in the lower spine (lumbosacral area). In some cases, this may lead to your spinal cord or nerve roots being squeezed. This can cause back pain and numbness or weakness in your legs. It can also lead to losing control over your bladder or

  7. Botulinum (Botox) Injection for Low Back Pain - Topic Overview

    Botulinum toxin A is a protein produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum,the same bacteria that causes botulism food poisoning. When injected into muscle in tiny amounts,botulinum A (Botox) can stop or reduce muscle spasm by blocking nerve signals to the muscle. This treatment has been used since the early 1990s to relieve severe muscle spasms around the eyes and in the neck,arms,...

  8. Anticonvulsants for Chronic Low Back Pain

    Drug details for Anticonvulsants for chronic low back pain.

  9. Myelogram

    A myelogram uses a special dye and an X-ray (fluoroscopy) to make pictures of the bones and the space (subarachnoid space) between the bones in your spine (spinal canal).

  10. Spinal Curves in Scoliosis - Topic Overview

    Doctors use X-ray images of a person's spine to measure spinal curvature. A curve or angle of the spine is measured in degrees and describes how severe the curve is. (The angle is determined by the intersection of lines projected from the top and bottom of the curve.) If the spine is straight, there is no angle; this would be a 0-degree curve. If the spine is curved, the angle can be measured. The larger the curve, the larger the angle or degree measurement. For example, a 10-degree curve is considered a mild curve, and a 50-degree curve is considered a severe curve.Many people have some curve in their spine. In fact, spinal curves that are less than 10 degrees are considered a normal variation of the spine. Curves that are greater than 10 degrees may be monitored (to see whether the curve is getting worse) or may need treatment.In addition to the severity of the curve, curves are described by their direction and location.Direction is based on which way the curve bends away from the

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