If your back pain is due to a recent strain or a minor injury, your primary care doctor is likely to be able to help. However, if the pain is severe, ongoing, or accompanied by other symptoms, such as numbness or tingling in the arms or legs, it may be time to see a back doctor. Around 80% of adults experience back pain at some point in their lives. It's one of the most common reasons people go to the doctor or miss work.
Pain can range from a dull ache to a sharp, sudden, and debilitating pain. If you have severe back pain that is combined with pain in other areas, such as a throbbing pain in your leg, you should see a doctor. This could be a sign that you have sciatica, a form of pain that affects the sciatic nerve, which extends from the lower back and crosses the buttocks before branching down each leg. This condition is usually the result of a herniated disc.
Your doctor can offer you a variety of ways to ease this pain. Back pain is one of the most common medical conditions; more than eight out of 10 of us will experience it during our lifetime. There are many reasons why the back may hurt due to muscle strain or to more serious conditions of the back and spine. The type of discomfort ranges from dull back pain to sharp pain.
The most common type of back pain is acute, meaning it goes away in a few weeks. Chronic back pain lasts longer than three months. Knowing when to see a doctor for back pain is half the battle when it comes to finding relief. Many people continue to function with mild back pain and find relief with home care measures.
However, it's important to know the signs and symptoms of a more serious back problem that requires professional medical diagnosis and treatment. A person can often treat mild symptoms at home with rest, ice, and over-the-counter pain relievers. For more serious symptoms, your doctor may recommend steroid injections or surgery. Most back pain will go away after a few days, but if you've been feeling pain for more than a week, it's time to call a doctor.
If back pain is accompanied by loss of bowel control or urination, it's time to seek immediate help at a local emergency room. If you have a car accident (even a minor one), fall or suffer any type of injury that causes back pain, it's time to consult a professional. If your back pain is due to a strain, sprain, or other minor injury, but it won't go away, call your primary care doctor. However, a person should see a doctor if low back pain is severe, doesn't seem to improve, or occurs along with other worrisome symptoms, such as tingling or numbness in the legs.
But how do you know when it's time to stop home remedies and see a doctor? If any of the following apply to your back pain, it's time to schedule an appointment with a doctor as soon as possible. A doctor can help a person identify possible causes of low back pain and recommend appropriate treatment. If back pain wakes you up in the middle of the night or appears when you're in certain positions, such as lying down, this could be a sign of a more serious problem. The doctor will perform all necessary tests or tests to help get to the bottom of the pain before it becomes a major problem.
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, about 80% of adults will have low back pain at some point in their lives. Sometimes low back pain can also be a symptom of conditions that are not directly related to the back. A person can often treat lower back pain at home by resting, trying hot or cold therapy, taking over-the-counter pain relievers, and stretching gently. .