Pain is your body’s alarm system alerting you that there is something wrong. The only time pain is a good sign is during childbirth. That being said, back pain is fairly common. Almost 80% of all adults will experience it in their life. Because it is so common, it can be hard to tell when to see a doctor for back pain.
Some non-life-threatening pains, like muscle strain, can be extremely painful. To avoid seeing a doctor, just to be told they pulled a muscle, some people just ice it and move on. There are some back pains that you shouldn’t move on from, though. It is important to be aware of the warnings that indicate it’s time to see a doctor for back pain.
When to See a Doctor for Back Pain
If the pain doesn’t subside after rest and lasts more than a week, it’s time to speak to a professional. If it persists past six weeks, you might need to see a specialist. It can be hard to decide what doctor to see for back pain. Chiropractors, massage therapists, physical therapists, neurologists, and orthopedists can all work with back pain. If you aren’t sure, speak to your general practitioner, and they will point you in the right direction.
Severe Pain Beyond the Back
Pain that starts in your back and shoots down your leg should not be ignored as though it’s a pulled muscle. This might indicate a damaged disk in your spine or a pinched nerve.
Weakness, Tingling, or Numbness
Tingling and numbness anywhere in your body and especially in the legs and back are a sign to call the doctor. Unusual weakness should always be evaluated by a doctor as well. These feelings usually mean a herniated disc or other conditions that can cause permanent nerve damage.
Pain After a Trauma
If you have fallen or been in an accident and are experiencing back pain, it should be evaluated. Be on the lookout for redness and swelling in the back. Your doctor might wish to ensure the spine has not been fractured. People over 55 are at higher risk for back damage from falls.
Worsening Pain at Certain Times
Increased pain when you change positions or lay down is a cause for concern. Pain that becomes worse at night is often caused by a severe sprain or disc degeneration. Make an appointment with your doctor to discuss the discomfort.
Loss of Bowel or Bladder Control
Problems with bowel and bladder control might very likely coincide with your back pain. They are usually a warning that it’s not just your back that is the problem. Be sure to alert your doctor if you begin to have trouble.
Unexplained Weight Loss
Losing large amounts of weight when you weren’t trying to is always a cause for concern. The back pain might be able to indicate to the doctor what is causing the loss.
Fever is your body’s natural way of fighting off viruses and bacteria but it doesn’t always succeed. If fever with your back pain doesn’t respond to over-the-counter treatment, you should call your doctor.
What Doctor Do You See For Back Pain? Call Us!
If you aren’t sure that your back pain warrants a doctor, it never hurts to ask. Better to be told to go home and ice, than to suffer permanent damage. At BASS Medical Group, your care is our top priority. If you have questions or would like to make an appointment, call (925) 350-4044 today. It is important to remember that you are not alone. Bass Medical is here to take care of you and your family.