In this post I’ll be discussing chronic leg pain and severe back pain and how it’s normally diagnosed…
When chronic leg pain or back pain symptoms strike it can take a few days until a sufferer visits the Doctor to discuss the pain.
Deep down the sufferer is hoping and praying that the Doctor will be able to ‘fix’ the pain with a pill or a procedure and that they’ll be taken seriously. Chronic pain is often viewed as an ‘excuse’ to avoid work which does an injustice to all those who suffer agonies every day!
During the visit, the Doctor will take a medical history and probably get the patient to try and bend the torso and raise the legs. Without the benefit of an X ray machine or an MRI scan it’s often hard for a Doctor to diagnose the chronic leg pain (which lasts longer than 3 weeks) but if a patient can’t raise their leg very high or experiences great pain in the process, then sciatica is usually diagnosed.
So too, if the lower back is tender to the touch and the patient can barely bend or stand upright then severe back pain symptoms are showing up too.
The Doctor if they have concerns may also ask questions relating to bowel and urinary functions as these can indicate severe nerve involvement or possible nerve damage in the spine.
Therefore, the diagnosis of chronic leg pain and severe back pain often involves considerations of:
- the duration and severity of the pain
- the presence of pins and needles, deadness or weakness in the legs indicating sciatic nerve involvement
- limitations in movement and flexibility in the lower back,
- a previous history of other back pain episodes
- evidence of obesity
- loss of reflexes in the leg
The Doctor may also order blood tests for possible bacterial infections or cysts in the spine.
A scan is next on the agenda if pain does not recede after some time. There are many scans available these days for the medical profession to investigate.
The main scans used to diagnose back pain symptoms and sciatica symptoms are as follows but this list is by no means inclusive:
- X-rays-which normally look for broken bones, fractures or misalignments in the spine, X rays don’t show injured muscles, ligaments or herniated discs however but they are fast and non intrusive.
- An X ray can be made more specific through using myelograms, which involve injecting a dye into the spinal canal which shows up disc problems. So too, discographies also involve the injection of a special dye into a suspected herniated disc which should then show up on the x-ray via the dye.
- CT scans like X rays are used to confirm disc ruptures, spinal stenosis, or damage to vertebrae. CT scans are comprised of various cross sectioning x rays passed through the body at different angles giving a two dimensional view of the spinal area under review. CT scans aren’t so common these days in the advent of the three dimensional MRI scans (see below)
- Then there are nerve ‘scans’ which pass electrical currents using electrodes to uncover weaknesses in the muscles and investigate possible nerve damage.
- Bone scans diagnose and monitor infections, fractures or disorders in the bones themselves, during these, a small amount of radioactive material is injected into the blood which collects in the ‘abnormal’ bones. This material then generates computer images to show irregular functioning in the bone or blood flow problems as well as any joint disease.
- Thermography uses infrared rays which can detect small changes in temperature between two sides of the body or in an organ. It can be used to detect nerve root compression.
- Ultrasound imaging uses sound waves to take a ‘look’ inside the body. These waves are recorded and displayed on a special screen. Ultrasound can show damage in the ligaments, muscles and tendons of the spine.
- And last but certainly by no means least are the MRI scans which are magnetic resonance imaging scans. These provide a great amount of three dimensional detail such as disc herniations, bone degeneration, injuries, cysts, diseases, tumours and the like. These scans work through the use of water molecules on bone, soft tissues and fluid-filled spaces which can all be differentiated on the scan they are very clever indeed. MRI scans basically show everything that can be ‘abnormal’ in the spine. However, hardly anyone past the age of thirty will have a perfect MRI spine scan result. Having seen my own MRI scan results I could see bulges, a cyst and spinal degeneration for myself.
Personally, I’ve had three MRI scans on my lower back and I have-one cyst, two disc herniations, spinal stenosis, degeneration and dessication of my vertebrae and also I’ve been told I have facet joint syndrome too!
However, since I used my own self healing cure program my chronic leg pain and severe back pain have in fact dissolved away!
But how come my self healing cure program for lower back pain relief and chronic leg pain healing worked when all the medical avenues didn’t (including back surgery).
This was because my brain was using the pain as a massive distraction strategy by triggering off oxygen deprivation pain to my spine.
This was to cover up my emotional overload buried deep down.
It’s rather like a virus in a computer making the hard drive crash. If the overload is large the pain will be more severe.
What’s more, if the emotional overload is ignored and disregarded the chronic pain sufferer may never get better long term they will always feel ill in one form or another with ‘new’ illnesses cropping up to take the place in the nervous system of any illnesses that managed to be ‘cured’ that’s why some people are always ill, they’re not imagining it.
They just have a more severe version of a common pain syndrome which is called tension myositis syndrome.
The crux of the cure lies in uncovering the emotional overload and stopping the need for a pain distraction strategy in the first place! This will nip many back pain symptoms and sciatica symptoms in the bud and in fact take away the need for the physical pain and the pain will cease.
This is the reasoning in a nutshell behind the inspirational Tension Myositis Syndrome of Dr John Sarno and it was purely a great inspiration for me when I discovered it in January 2009.
So for chronic leg pain and severe back pain diagnosis it’s very wise to keep an open mind about the whole thing…
In the next post I’ll be considering the growing issue of back pain in the next generation…