When to See a Doctor for Back Pain
When Should I See a Doctor for Back Pain?
Problems from back pain are the most common physical complaints among American adults and are a leading cause of lost job time — to say nothing of the time and money spent in search of relief. Over 80% of the population will have back pain at some point during their lifetime. With staggering numbers, you would expect everyone to be running to the doctor; but in most cases, pain usually goes away with or without treatment. However, a trip to the doctor is probably a good idea if the pain:
- Extends down your leg
- Increases when you lift your knee to your chest or bend over
- Follows a recent fall or trauma
- Lasts more than three weeks
- Becomes worse when you rest, wakes you up at night, or is associated with a fever
- Is associated with bladder or bowel problems
- Is associated with numbness or weakness in your legs
What type of doctor should you see?
There are many types of health practitioners that care for patients with spinal conditions, and each has a slightly different role. The type of health professional – or team of health professionals – largely depends on the patient’s symptoms and the length of time the symptoms have been present.
The different types of health professionals who treat back pain tend to have varied training and interests. While it is common to start off with a primary care provider (a medical doctor, chiropractor, or doctor of osteopathic medicine), if the patient’s back pain is resistant to initial treatment then the services of a spine specialist may be necessary. Spine specialists have a more specific area of expertise in certain diagnoses and/or treatments for back pain and spinal conditions.
What are the treatment options?
The most important aspect of back pain is how it impacts your ability to function in your daily life. So although it’s important to reduce pain, the emphasis of the treatment isn’t only on eliminating the pain, but on improving your ability to function as much as possible in your usual activities.
Treatment options include a variety of conservative approaches, such as medications, exercise and physical therapy, or they include more aggressive approaches, such as spinal injections and as a last resort, surgery.
As a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist, my approach to treatments is conservative-aggressive. My goal is to get you back to the life you deserve as quick as possible, with the most effective treatment plan for your unique pain.
ABOUT MICHIGAN SPORTS & SPINE CENTER:
We’re innovative leaders utilizing cutting-edge technologies such as musculoskeletal ultrasounds, PRP, stem cell treatment, and other innovative procedures. Michigan Sports & Spine Center is committed to resolving your pain, not simply masking it. We treat the whole body, not just the injury, and perform preventative treatment so your injury doesn’t come back. Our studies prove that Michigan Sports & Spine Center has patient success rates much higher than the national average. We treat everyone from high-profile athletes to your neighbor next door. Our primary focus is getting our patients back into the game of life!