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Was advised MRI for severe back pain. What precautionary measures to follow?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
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I am getting severe back pain in the regular intervals. When I consulted a doctor I was advised to go for MRI scan for diagonisation. Please tell about your view that whether MRI scan is required in my case or what is the precautionary methods I should follow.
Posted Mon, 2 Dec 2013 in Back Pain
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 3 hours later
Brief Answer: MRI scan can be avoided right now. Detailed Answer: Hello, Thanks for posting your query. The severe back pain at regular intervals at your age without any history of injury is most commonly a part of a mechanical back pain complex of symptoms. This mechanical back pain is caused due to bad posture at work, long work-hours in particular position, lack of proper sleep or healthy diet as well. I suggest you to try back strengthening exercises by extension of the back muscles which can be taught by your Physiotherapist. This will help to relieve the possible muscle spasm which causes the pain. You also need to get some pain killers and muscle relaxants prescribed from your orthopedician for relief. Doing a hot fomentation and massaging with a local analgesic gel is also a good pain relieving measure. In case the pain is persistent in spite of following the above said measures for 2-3 weeks then one must rule out inflammatory disorders, for which I recommend you to get a X-ray of your spine. MRI can be taken in case you have any nerve compression symptoms which can be diagnosed by your Orthopedician after a physical examination. Right now MRI scan is not immediately needed. I would also suggest you to try swimming as this will help in back conditions. Avoid weight bearing exercises. Do only mild aerobics which does not put your back to strain. You can discuss about this with your Gym instructor. Eat a diet rich in fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables, nuts, milk, eggs, pulses and cereals. Drink 1-2 litres of water daily. Do brisk walking exercise for 40 minutes daily. Get 6-8 hours of refreshing sleep daily. Kindly follow up with me about your progress. I hope this answers your query. In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out. Wishing you good health. Regards. Dr. Praveen Tayal.
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