When does Back Pain Require Medical Attention?
Back pain is a common problem that affects many people. It can be short-term or long-lasting, and it may come and go. You might feel lower back pain when you cough or sneeze, stand for too long, lift something heavy, sit in the same position for too long (like at your desk), or strain to use the bathroom. It can be difficult to treat but is important to understand what causes your back pain and how it affects your daily life. By learning more about the cause of your back pain, you may find ways to reduce or prevent it.
When should I go to my Doctor?
It’s important that if your lower back pain doesn’t start to subside within one or two weeks, or if there are troubling symptoms, medical care should be sought. A health professional, such as an orthopedic surgeon, will first identify a general source of pain and then determine appropriate and effective methods of pain management.
The most common cause of acute back pain is muscle strain or sprain. Muscle strains and sprains are usually treated at home or by primary care doctors. Sometimes these patients may be referred to doctors who specialize in back pain such as orthopedic surgeons. Spine fractures are also rare and may be associated with thinned spine bones or injuries. Fortunately, spine infections and cancer are very rare and usually only affect people with special risk factors. These patients should be seen by spine doctors!
The first thing to do if your back hurts is taking an over-the-counter pain reliever and apply ice in the first 48 hours. You may need to take it easy for a while, but it’s best to stay active and to avoid absolute bed rest, which can lead to deconditioning of muscles. You should seek urgent medical care if you have symptoms such as:
- Back pain after trauma
- Loss of strength in arms/legs
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Unexplained weight loss
- Severe abdominal pain
If you suffer from lower back pain for a while now then it may be time to see a specialist. Dr. Gerald Alexander specializes in diagnosing and treating lower back pain. He has helped thousands of people just like you get their lives back on track by finding the cause of their pain and getting rid of it once and for all.
What will my Doctor do?
Back pain is a common problem for many people and can be caused by a variety of different factors. While it may seem like something that will go away on its own, the longer you put off treatment, the more likely your condition could become chronic. It’s important to remember that there are many options available for treating back pain and most cases can be resolved with proper care.
We begin our evaluation with a thorough history taking and physical examination, which includes checking for tenderness, spine range of motion, strength, sensation, reflexes, and provocative tests designed to find out what triggers your pain. Depending on the results from these tests we may order imaging studies such as X-rays or MRIs.
These imaging studies will help your doctor to see how much damage has been done already or whether any degenerative changes exist in other areas of the spine besides where you’re experiencing symptoms now. In some cases electromyography (EMG) testing may be ordered along with nerve conduction velocity testing (NCV), both used together can help us identify muscle problems causing your lower back pain.
Back pain is one of the most common reasons people visit a doctor and it can be debilitating. But there are ways to manage your symptoms and get relief from the discomfort that comes with this condition. Specialized doctors such as Orthopedic Surgeon Orange County & Irvine, CA will work with you to create a personalized treatment plan that fits your needs and lifestyle, giving you more control over your health than ever before.
Lower back pain treatments vary from surgical or nonsurgical treatments. However, most doctors will recommend you first try non-surgical treatments before doing something more invasive. Some examples of common non-surgical treatments are:
- Physical therapy
- Chiropractic adjustments
- Massage therapy
- Prescription pain medication
- Steroid injections
Most people will experience some form of back pain in their lives. In most cases, the “cure,” so to speak, is simply time. If your back pain is severe or doesn’t get better over
Why do I have Back Pain?
The most common cause of acute back pain is muscle pain. For the most part, these are not going to be harmful in the long run. In these cases, if you are concerned or your pain has lasted more than two weeks, we recommend going to see a primary care physician.