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When Should I See A Doctor For Back Pain

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When to See a Doctor for Back Pain

Painful joints may not always be avoidable, but they are certainly treatable. If you are experiencing persistent back pain due to an injury, illness, work conditions or any other reason, an orthopedic physician can help. Call Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland at 644-1880 to find out what can be done to relieve your pain and get you back to doing what you enjoy the most.

What Doctor To See For Sciatica Pain

In most cases, sciatica is caused by spine issues. Therefore, if your insurance allows it, usually the best doctor to see for sciatica pain is a spine specialist. These include disc herniation, spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis and spine injury. Spine doctors are trained in these specific conditions and have the most experience treating them.

If your sciatica is the result of one of the less common piriformis syndrome or a tumor a spine doctor can help diagnose these conditions and refer you to a specialist if necessary.

Women who are pregnant and experiencing sciatica should first discuss their symptoms with their obstetrician. You can then have a conversation with your OB/GYN to determine if you should visit a spine specialist for your pain.

Whats The Role Of Chiropractic Care

Some doctors refer back pain sufferers to a physical therapist right away. But many people with back pain see acupuncturists, massage therapists, or a chiropractor on their own. Experts disagree about the role of chiropractic care, and there are not many high-quality studies to consult about this approach. As a result, there are a number of questions regarding the role of chiropractic care: Should it be a routine part of initial care? Should it be reserved for people who dont improve with other treatments? Are some people more likely to improve with chiropractic care than others?

The answers to these questions go beyond any academic debate about how good chiropractic care is. Estimates suggest that low back pain costs up to $200 billion a year in the US , and its a leading cause of disability worldwide. With the backdrop of the opioid crisis, we badly need an effective, safe, and non-opioid alternative to treat low back pain.

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Bring Your List Of Medications And Previous Medical Records

Provide an accurate history of your medical and surgical treatments and bring all your test results or relevant documents that you may have received from previous doctors. These details are crucial in deciding your course of treatment and also saves the time and effort to conduct new tests.

Consulting a doctor will provide you with a greater benefit if youre well prepared. With these tips, you can more actively participate in the diagnostic and treatment process and are more likely to find healing and pain relief.

Your Pain Extends To Other Body Parts

Back Pain: When to See a Doctor

If you’re experiencing severe back pain that is coupled with pain in other areas such as shooting pain down your leg then you should see a doctor. This could be a sign that you have sciatica, a form of pain that affects the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back and through the buttocks before branching down each leg. This condition usually results from a herniated disk. A doctor will be able to offer a variety of ways that you can relieve this pain.

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When Should Back Pain Be Checked

As mentioned earlier, most back pain improves in a few weeks with self-care and isnt a cause for concern. Still, back pain can be debilitating, and some patients need a doctors help to cope with the pain or treat the problem with nonsurgical or surgical techniques. Back pain also can sometimes be a sign of a serious medical condition.

Its a good idea to visit a doctor if youre experiencing the following:

1. Nighttime PainFor some people, lying down in bed makes their back pain worse, no matter what position theyre in. They might not have any back pain until they go to bed. Although nighttime back pain may be caused by common conditions like a sprain or scoliosis, it can be due to something serious, like an infection, fracture, nerve compression or spinal tumor. You should always get looked at by a doctor for any condition that disrupts your sleep.

2. Weakness, Numbness or TinglingIf youre experiencing numbness, weakness or tingling with your back pain, you could have nerve damage or irritation. You should go to a doctor for nerve pain if it persists, especially if OTC pain relievers dont help. If nerve pain does not get treated, it can lead to permanent damage.

3. FeverA fever, along with back pain, can mean theres an infection. Spinal infections include vertebral osteomyelitis, meningitis or a spinal epidural abscess. Spinal infections require immediate medical attention.

Er Average Wait Times

ER wait times are approximate and provided for informational purposes only. If you are having a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

The ER wait time represents the time it takes to see a qualified medical professional, defined as a Doctor of Medicine , Doctor of Osteopathy , Physician Assistant or Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner .

ER wait times represent a four-hour rolling average updated every 30 minutes, and is defined as the time of patient arrival until the time the patient is greeted by a qualified medical professional. Patients are triaged at arrival and are then seen by a qualified medical professional in priority order based on their presenting complaint and reason for visit.

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Concerned About Your Back Pain Symptoms We Can Help

Most back pain goes away on its own. But if your back pain has been lingering for more than two weeks without improvement, its been coming and going for some time, or if youre experiencing any alarming symptoms, dont delay the care you need. After all, its much easier to take care of yourself when you can move without pain.

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How Is It Treated

When Should I See My Doctor About My Neck Pain, Sciatica, Or Back Pain?

Most low back pain will improve with basic first aid, which includes continuing to do light activity such as walking, and taking over-the-counter pain medicine as needed.

Walking is the simplest and maybe the best exercise for the lower back. It gets your blood moving and helps your muscles stay strong.

Your doctor or physiotherapist can recommend more specific exercises to help your back muscles get stronger. These may include a series of simple exercises called core stabilization. Strengthening the muscles in your trunk can improve your posture, keep your body in better balance, and lower your chance of injury.

If your symptoms are severe or you still have symptoms after 2 weeks of self-care, see your doctor. You may need stronger pain medicines, or you might benefit from manual therapy.

Each of the various treatments for back pain work for some people but not for others. You may need to try different things to see which work best for you, such as:

  • Spinal manipulation.
  • Massage.
  • Acupuncture.

Having ongoing back pain can make you depressed. In turn, depression can have an effect on your level of pain and whether your back gets better. People with depression and chronic pain often benefit from both antidepressant medicines and counselling. Counselling can help you learn stress management and pain control skills.

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What Should I Avoid Doing If I Have Sciatica

Avoid putting added pressure onto your lumbar spine and sciatic nerve as much as possible. Activities such as sitting with bad posture, heavy lifting, difficult or strenuous exercise, and sitting or laying down for prolonged periods can aggravate your body.

Be sure not to rest too much when you have sciatica, as your back can weaken and worsen your pain. With this in mind, dont ignore your pain signals or fight through them. Taking a few minutes to sit down and let your pain pass is perfectly okay.

What Doctor Should I See For Back Pain

If your back pain is from a recent strain or mild injury, your primary care doctor can probably help. But if the pain is severe, ongoing, or accompanied by other symptoms such as numbness or tingling in your arms or legs, it may be time to see a back doctor. Start with someone who specializes in nonsurgical treatment for back pain. This can include a physiatrist, chiropractor, physical therapist, or orthopaedic physician assistant. They can evaluate your condition and offer appropriate treatment to help alleviate your pain. Depending on your circumstances, they might also refer you to another type of back specialist — for example, a pain management specialist or spine surgeon.

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Home Treatment For Back Pain

While it is important to know when to see a doctor for back pain, in many situations, home care is all that is needed. The best home treatments are the classic ones that have been around for ages: over-the-counter pain medications like Tylenol®, Aleve®, and Motrin®, along with hot and cold compresses. Heat increases blood flow to the area allowing for the influx of healing cells and for increased outflow to help remove the extra fluid that may cause swelling and pain. Cold decreases blood flow, preventing swelling from too much fluid in the injured area.

Also, it is important not to stay in bed immobile. Start with gentle but regular movements such as trips out of bed or the chair and walk for a minute or two depending on the pain level. Gradually increase movement as the pain allows. This is one of the most important activities for complete and rapid healing.

Before giving some general guidelines to help the pain sufferer decide when to see a doctor for back pain, it is important to note that anyone with questions, concerns, or who just does not feel comfortable managing back pain at home should make an appointment with an orthopedic doctor to be evaluated.

So, one answer to when to see a doctor for back pain is anytime a patient is unsure about home treatment or has questions. There is never a reason to avoid getting professional advice from one of the orthopedic/back pain specialists at the Orthopedic Institute of New Jersey.

Your Primary Care Doctor Has Recommended You See A Spine Specialist

Should I See a Doctor for Back Pain?

If youre like most people, when you first develop a medical concern, you make an appointment with your primary care doctor. And this is a good first step. Your primary care physician can perform a physical exam, order imaging studies, and diagnose and treat sciatica. But if your case is more complex, you may be referred to a spine surgeon. Keep in mind, seeing a surgeon doesnt mean you will definitely require surgery. Its just the next step in the process of finding the best treatment plan for you.

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Get Sciatica Treatment Today With Aica Orthopedic

In some cases, sciatica pain can go away on its own, with time and proper self-care practices. However, for the best results and to ensure that sciatica is treated correctly, you will want to visit a healthcare professional. AICA Orthopedics has a variety of healthcare specialists that can provide expert care to any individual seeking relief from sciatica. Along with proper self-care practices, our doctors may recommend physical therapy, chiropractic care, surgery, or non-surgical injections depending on the severity of your sciatica.When you work with AICA Orthopedics, youll have access to multiple doctors across different medical fields to help with sciatica symptom relief.

Chiropractic

Chiropractic specialists help to realign the spine and body to its natural state which will improve its ability to heal itself, rather than having to use invasive or medication-based treatment. Treatment for sciatica may involve multiple specialists, but chiropractic is a great place to start for finding relief from sciatica symptoms. With sciatic nerve compression, chiropractic will help to reduce or eliminate that pressure, making chiropractic an effective form of treatment.

Neurology

Neurology specialists are experts at understanding and navigating treatments for the nervous system. Sciatica is a nerve-related condition, making a neurologist a go-to specialist to visit when getting to the root of sciatica symptoms.

Interventional Spine
Orthopedic

Waiting For A Doctors Appointment Later In The Week

If back pain is tolerable and does not cause alarming symptoms or signs, it may be safe to wait for a doctors appointment later in the week or by the following week. It is important not to ignore a back problem evaluating and treating back pain at the earliest can help prevent the problem from becoming chronic. Chronic back conditions can be more challenging to treat.

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When To Visit The Er For Back Pain

  • /
  • When to Visit the ER for Back Pain

While many people tolerate occasional aches and pains in their back, severe back pain may indicate a larger problem. But how do you know if your back pain, or that of a loved one, has reached the point that it requires an emergency department visit?

If at any point you feel that your condition is serious enough that it can’t wait for a visit with your primary care physician, you should visit the emergency department. However, if you’re not sure whether your back pain requires emergency care, consider these guidelines.

Sciatica Treatment At Home

When should I see my doctor about lower back pain? – Dr. Kodlady Surendra Shetty

Many cases of sciatica will resolve in a few days. If you experience sciatica symptoms, you can:

  • Rest: Decreasing your activity can help minimize additional irritation of the sciatic nerve and give the area time to heal. Bedrest, however, is not recommended. Its best to get up and move around gently. Avoid any movements that lead to increased pain.

  • Stretch: Stretching exercises of the low back can help relieve nerve compression. Avoid twisting the back. Aim for slow, gradual stretches.

  • Use cold packs: Applying an ice pack to the irritated area can provide some relief. You can ice the area for 20 minutes at a time, a few times per day. Cold therapy is most helpful soon after symptoms begin.

  • Apply heat: If your symptoms have persisted for more than two or three days, try heat instead of cold. Use a heating pad or hot packs.

  • Take anti-inflammatory medication: Ibuprofen and naproxen are over-the-counter medicines that relieve pain and decrease inflammation.

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Specialists Who Treat Back Pain

There are many types of health practitioners that care for patients with spinal conditions, and each has a slightly different role. Selection of the most appropriate 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 , if the patient’s back pain is resistant to initial treatment then the services of a spine specialist may be necessary.

What Kinds Of Conditions Does A Chiropractor Treat

I mainly see spine-related conditions. This includes pain in the low back, called the lumbar spine, the upper back, called the thoracic spine, and the neck . Some of my patients have had a recent injury while others have had pain for many years. Common causes of spine pain include disc problems and muscle spasm. Many patients have leg or arm pain or headaches in addition to back or neck pain. Chiropractors often work with other parts of the body, too — knee injuries, shoulder injuries, things like that — but my main focus is on the spine.

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How Often Do I Need To See A Chiropractor

At first, I might see a patient once or twice a week. If the condition is acute, I might see the patient every day to begin. As they improve, I recommend fewer visits and start giving the patient more things to do on their own at home. I want my patients to be as independent as possible. There are patients who have chronic problems and need to come back and see me once in a while. But the great majority of patients have issues that are resolvable, and I may never need to see them again after their condition has improved.

Tingling Numbness Or Weakness In Your Arms Or Legs

When Should I See A Doctor For Back Pain

If you notice tingling or numbness that doesnt go away, these symptoms along with weakness in your arms or legs could point to nerve irritation or damage in your spine. Herniated discs and spinal stenosis can put undue pressure on your spinal nerves causing a pins-and-needles sensation. When left untreated, these conditions can lead to prolonged or permanent disabilities. Tell your doctor right away if you notice any of these symptoms.

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Pay Attention To Your Body Mechanics And Posture

Body mechanics are the way you use your body. Posture is the way you sit or stand.

  • To prevent a return of low back pain, you will need to take extra care when you lift. When you must lift, bend your knees and flex from your hips. Don’t let your spine slump.
  • Back Problems: Proper Lifting
  • Think about your posture, whether you are sitting or standing. Slumping or slouching alone may not cause low back pain. But after the back has been strained or injured, bad posture can make pain worse. “Good posture” generally means your ears, shoulders, and hips are in a straight line. If this posture causes pain, you may have another condition such as a problem with a disc or bones in your back.
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