When is it time to see a physician for your back pain?

back_examYou bend down to pick up your child’s toy that’s obstructed your path. Ouch! As you grab your lower back, you realize that this pain is more than just “sleeping funny” the night before. It doesn’t hurt that bad, you tell yourself. It’ll probably heal on its own. However, it may be time to pay a visit to your physician.

For the most part, many individuals who experience neck or back pain do not need to see a physician because the pain absolves on its own. For others, though, their pain requires a physician’s point of view.

Here are some signs that it may be time to schedule an appointment with your physician about your neck or back pain:

Were you involved in a trauma? If you were involved in a car accident, a serious fall or other injury, you should see a physician. Your physician will be able to rule out serious injuries and offer suggestions to get you back in tiptop shape.

Are you experiencing numbness and tingling? If you are experiencing numbness or tingling, it’s probably time to see a physician. While you may be able to hide the effects with some over-the-counter medications, numbness or tingling is typically a sign that there is damage to a nerve.

Are you struggling to sleep because of back pain? If neck or back pain is prohibiting you from getting a good night’s sleep, you should make an appointment with your physician. Pain while lying down suggests that you may have sprained your back or have degenerative disc disease.

Have you been experiencing neck or back pain for more than six weeks? Prolonged neck or back pain may be indicative that you have a more serious problem. Schedule an appointment with your physician. He or she may suggest that you incorporate conservative treatment into your daily routine to help alleviate or eliminate neck or back pain.

Really, only you can tell if it is time to see a physician. If you answered yes to any of these questions, we suggest that you visit your physician as soon as possible so that serious injury may be ruled out.

If your pain is prolonged and does not react to conservative, nonsurgical treatment, your physician may recommend that you have an MRI or CT scan to determine the source of your pain. If your physician suggests that it may be time to have surgery, we recommend that you do your research prior to committing to a procedure.

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