When to Get Professional Help for Your Lower Back Pain
About 80% of the American population should expect to experience an episode of back pain in their lifetime according to the US Library of Medicine. Fortunately, most back pain improves after a couple of weeks with conservative treatment like rest and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications.
Does that mean you should always wait two weeks before seeing the doctor for lower back pain? Of course not.
The medical experts at mydoc Urgent Care in Forest Hills and East Meadow, New York provide outstanding care for a wide variety of issues, including low back pain.
Read their guidelines regarding back pain and when to seek professional care.
Consider your back history and what’s driving the pain
When deciding whether your back requires professional attention, it pays to consider your medical history as well as what might be causing the pain.
Lower back pain is not a condition but a symptom of an underlying issue that may include:
- Muscular or ligamentous strain, most common
- Herniated or ruptured spinal disc
- Arthritis, most often osteoarthritis
- A condition affecting nearby organs, such as a kidney infection
If you have a known history of disc problems or previous slow to heal muscular strain and are experiencing your third episode of back pain this year, it’s probably time to check with the doctor.
If you don’t typically have problems with back pain and can trace your discomfort to a sudden twinge when lifting a heavy object, home care that includes rest, ice, and heat for a couple of days may be all you need.
Let your symptoms be your guide
Evaluate the nature and intensity of your symptoms to gauge whether you might require medical attention.
Concerning symptoms to watch for include:
- Pain that doesn’t improve with rest
- Sharp, stabbing, or burning pain that travels into your buttocks or lower extremities
- Weakness or numbness in the legs
- Pain that makes it impossible to sleep or find a comfortable position
Always see a doctor if your pain develops following a blow to the back, fall, car accident, or other trauma.
Monitor your progress
Although it sometimes takes a few weeks for back pain to fully resolve, you should expect gradual improvement and decreased discomfort within a couple of days.
Plan a visit to the mydoc Urgent Care office if you experience a sudden worsening of your pain or develop problems with bowel or bladder function as this could indicate a serious medical issue.
Otherwise, we always encourage our patients to come in for any back issue that’s causing significant discomfort, interfering with your mobility, or making it difficult to complete your daily activities.
If you’re struggling with back pain, take advantage of our convenient urgent care walk-in service, request an appointment online, or give our office a call to schedule a visit today. We’re here to help!