The majority of people have suffered from back discomfort at some point in their lives. It is, in fact, the biggest cause of disability worldwide and the most prevalent reason for people to miss work. Back pain can manifest in a variety of ways, from a temporary dull ache to severe pain that lasts for weeks.
Depending on the pain’s severity, you can try a variety of home remedies to help. But how can you know when it’s time to abandon home treatments and consult a doctor?
Here are three signs it’s time to see a doctor about your back pain:
1. The Pain Is Constant
Whether it’s a dull or sharp pain, the first thing you need to consider when suffering from back pain is how long the pain lasts. Your doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms and examine the problem area to fully understand the extent of your injury.
They might be able to offer treatment and advice on how to avoid future problems by examining your posture, way of life, and current job requirements. They may also give you exercises or other forms of physical therapy to strengthen the problematic area.
However, sometimes surgery is necessary to fix the problem area fully. If your back pain is caused by an infection or complicating issues like sciatica, then your doctor might prescribe medication to alleviate your symptoms while they figure out what caused it in the first place.
Only after they have examined you thoroughly and found out what is causing your back pain will they be able to provide you with proper advice on how to get rid of it for good.
You may be able to cure your symptoms with home remedies, but if you need to take pain killers frequently or have never had back pain, you should seek medical attention. Skipping out on going to see a doctor may delay the process of getting better and could make it worse than ever.
2. The Pain is Severe and Moves Around
You can make a basic distinction between four types of back pain, each with different causes and requiring various treatments. When you’re experiencing back pain that is localized to a specific area and doesn’t move around, you may experience some relief by using common home remedies such as hot baths or massage.
However, if your pain moves around your back or even shifts to your joints, it’s best to see a doctor right away, especially if your discomfort is accompanied by other symptoms such as a fever, chills, or weight loss.
Moreover, if your pain is severe, you definitely want to see a doctor about your back pain.
3. The Pain Is Not Getting Better
If you’re using common home remedies such as ibuprofen or rest to alleviate your back pain, they aren’t helping. It’s time to see a doctor. It’s true that some back pain comes and goes in cycles, but if it’s caused by an injury or illness, then there’s no reason for it not to improve.
It’s not uncommon for a back injury to take anywhere from one to three weeks to heal, but there’s no reason why it should continue hurting after that. If you’re still experiencing pain after a few weeks, it’s a good idea to see a doctor.
Sometimes there’s no reason for back pain at all. If you’ve had no injuries, have a healthy diet, and have a low-stress life, you should ask your doctor to do tests to ensure you don’t have an underlying issue.
It’s important to note that it may not be anything serious even if you have one of these symptoms. However, it’s always best to err on the side of caution. Check with a doctor if you start to show any of these symptoms. This will ensure that your back pain is not caused by something more serious.
If you need general and primary care from the best NJ doctors, Garden State Medical Group has a well-known and board-certified team of doctors and internists in the New Jersey area. We care about our patients so much that we give them the best personalized services, focusing on prevention, management, and education. Book your appointment today!