Medical misdiagnosis is unfortunately common, especially in areas where there are few specialists. The medical community places a high value on time and efficiency, which can lead to mistakes that take years to correct. If you think your back pain has been misdiagnosed or mishandled by your doctor or medical team, here are some steps you can take to get help.
Schedule an MRI Review With a Different Doctor
You are not required to stay with the same doctor just because you used them in the past. They are a service provider and just like with any other service, you can seek out a different one if they are not meeting your needs. If you think that your back pain has been misdiagnosed, it’s worth seeing a different doctor. You may be able to get a second opinion on the diagnosis and treatment options. A second opinion may help you decide whether or not to pursue litigation against the healthcare provider who made the original diagnosis if there was malfeasance or negligence involved. Many doctors even offer free MRI review services if you think there is an error in how the MRI was originally read.
Hire a New Medical Team to Help
If you are not getting the care you need, if you are being dismissed for any reason or if your concerns are not being taken seriously by your current medical team, you have the power to hire a new medical team to help. You may want to consider hiring a new doctor or physical therapist who specializes in back pain and spinal disorders, as well as finding a specialist who can give you more information about your condition and what treatments are available for it. You could even hire an independent medical professional who isn’t affiliated with your insurance company or employer if those are part of the problem. Getting an outsider look can often give you better results.
Try a Different Physical Therapy Approach
If you’ve been diagnosed with a herniated disc, spinal fusion, or degenerative disc disease, physical therapy can help you manage your pain and recover from surgery. Physical therapists are experts at helping people get back to their daily activities before they even have to think about surgery. Some people can even do physical therapy to avoid surgery altogether. Even if you do have surgery, a physical therapist will help you improve your muscle tone so that you can get back to doing the things you love and experience the full benefit of having the surgery in the first place.
Look at Surgical Options
Surgery should be a last resort. However, sometimes it is the best and most necessary option. Many back pain sufferers need surgery for herniated or bulging discs. However, it’s important to be informed of all your options. You may benefit from a prosthetic disc instead of having a spinal fusion. You’ll get more mobility and better outcomes long-term. Some insurance still doesn’t cover this type of surgery, however, so you may need to look at other options to get it paid for.
Try Losing Weight
Most Americans are overweight and many of them have back pain. While it’s probably not what you want to hear, trying to lose weight can be an effective way to alleviate your back pain when you are not getting results from your doctors. In fact, losing just 10 pounds can reduce stress on your spine by as much as 20-30%. Start simply by replacing sugary drinks with water, and focusing on getting enough protein in your diet. Eat fewer meals with processed foods and eat fruits and vegetables at every meal.
Research All Your Options
There are many options out there for help with back pain. Some doctors don’t take the time to explain every option to you. Instead, they only discuss the ones that they like the best. However, medical care isn’t one-size fits all, and you should be aware if there are any other options that your doctor isn’t telling you about.
Pursue Litigation if Your Medical Team is Negligent
If you feel that your medical team has been negligent, it’s important to pursue litigation. In the case of medical malpractice, negligence occurs when a doctor or other health care professional fails to provide adequate care for their patient and causes them harm. If you believe that your back pain was caused by negligent care, you can discuss your case with a lawyer.