One of the major problems with diagnosing lumbar degenerative disc disease is that it mirrors and mimics the symptoms of many lesser spine ailments. Depending on its severity, it could be as innocuous as tightness in the lower back or as debilitating as paralysis. At first glance – especially for a general physician – common diagnoses may include a slipped disc, nerve damage, myelopathy, and more.
To accurately diagnose lumbar degenerative disc disease, it takes a thorough and complete assessment of the patient. This is what makes Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) so integral in assessing this condition. Because CBP leaves no stone unturned, diagnoses are fully explored before given, ruling out many of the mistakes of classifying lumbar degenerative disc disease.
At Ideal Spine Health Center, we strive to always provide an accurate diagnosis for our Boise, ID patients. Through our application of CBP, we’re able to rule out incorrect diagnoses to ensure we’re focusing on the right treatment plan for conditions like lumbar degenerative disc disease.
The threefold lumbar assessment
CBP’s approach to understanding the whole patient is what sets the stage for a proper lumbar degenerative disc disease diagnosis. Specifically, there are three factors in diagnosing this condition that run parallel to CBP procedure:
- Assessment of patient history and condition;
- A clinical physical examination of the spine;
- Diagnostic imaging to see the condition of the spine.
Each step of the diagnostic process plays a critical role in narrowing the scope of ailments to lumbar degenerative disc disease.
Assessment of patient history
Assessing the patient’s medical history, lifestyle, and wellbeing are imperative for any diagnosis. It provides clinical information that may have bearing on a current condition, such as past medical problems. It also gives chiropractors a chance to ask questions that may further qualify or rule out a diagnosis.
For suspected lumbar degenerative disc disease, some questions may include asking the patient to describe the area of their pain, its frequency and intensity, and any remedies they’ve found for relief. Flags in a person’s medical history may include rheumatoid tests, nerve damage, recent trauma, etc.
Analysis of clinical information and open conversation is a cornerstone of CBP, setting the tone for a more accurate diagnosis and eventual treatment.
Physical spinal examination
The second stage of CBP analysis is a physical analysis of spinal condition. Getting patients up and onto the table so a chiropractor can get their hands on the spine is a great way to confirm or deny evidence discovered in the initial fact-finding assessment stage.
A physical assessment can yield invaluable information that points to lumber problems. Some of the indicators a chiropractor will be looking for to confirm lumbar degenerative disc disease include:
- Reduced or restricted range of motion in the legs;
- Lack of muscle strength;
- Deteriorated or delayed reflexes;
- Spasms or trembling in the legs;
- Localized tenderness in the lumbar spine.
As the above symptoms begin to align themselves with a patient’s medical history and chiropractic observation, the validity of a lumbar degenerative disc disease diagnosis is further strengthened.
The final cornerstone of a CBP approach to chiropractic is the use of radiological imaging. X-rays and other scans will provide chiropractors with visual, definitive proof of suspected diagnosis, qualifying the decision to pursue a targeted course of treatment. For lumbar degenerative disc disease, X-rays may show fractures in the lumbar spine, compressed discs, or improper spinal curvature.
Each step of the CBP method is integral to qualifying the right diagnosis for a patient. And, for conditions like lumbar degenerative disc disease, nailing down the correct diagnosis immediately means a more positive outlook for treatment. Ideal Spine Health Center invites Boise, ID back pain sufferers to visit us today for a free consultation.
Chiropractic BioPhysics, or CBP, is one of the most scientific, researched, and results-oriented corrective care techniques. CBP-trained chiropractors aim to realign the spine back to health, eliminating nerve interference and addressing the source of pain, fatigue, and disease. As with all chiropractic care, CBP is gentle, painless, and non-invasive.