When to Consult a Doctor About Lower Back Pain

To say that lower back pain is common would be an understatement. Lower back pain affects 80% of adults in the United States at some point during their lives and it’s one of the leading causes of missed work days. While many cases of lower back pain resolve themselves with time, there are situations in which medical intervention is a good idea.

Our team here at Advanced Spine Care and Pain Management has extensive experience helping patients regain pain-free movement when lower back pain strikes. Using the most cutting-edge pain management techniques available, we’re armed with the resources you need to overcome debilitating lower back pain.

Deciding when you could use interventional pain management is largely up to you, but there are a few good rules of thumb to help you decide. If you see yourself in any of the following four situations, come in and see us for an evaluation of your back pain.

Pain that doesn’t go away

This first point may seem obvious, but allow us to explain further. Of the 80% of people who experience lower back pain, 20% develop chronic problems.

Some of the more common causes of lower back pain include herniated discs and muscle strains, which typically resolve themselves within six weeks.

If you find yourself still struggling after six weeks, this is a clear sign that you could benefit from one of our many pain-relieving therapies.

As well, if your pain is persistent and plagues you at night when you lie down, it’s a good idea to have us take a look.

Symptoms that indicate nerve involvement

Pain in your lower back can often lead to symptoms that radiate down into your legs, such as pain, numbness, and tingling. If these symptoms persist for more than a week, it’s usually a good idea to have us check you out so that we can determine the extent of the nerve involvement.

Please note that if you experience bladder or bowel dysfunction as one of your symptoms, this can be very serious and you should seek our help as soon as possible.

A fever with your back pain

If you have lower back pain that’s accompanied by a fever, this may be a warning flag of something much larger at play, like an infection, and we advise seeking medical expertise. 

Balance issues or trouble with walking

If your lower back pain is accompanied by problems with your gait or balance, we urge you to come see us sooner rather than later. Along the same lines, if you develop what we call “foot drop” (your foot drags), this could signal a serious problem that should be checked out by one of our doctors.

It’s your call

When it comes to lower back pain, you’re the final judge as to whether you need treatment. Our feeling is that if your pain is moderate to severe and you’re having trouble functioning normally, you’d do well to have us take a look. At a minimum we can help you find relief, and on the off chance the problem is serious, we can to intervene quickly.

If you’re still unsure as to whether your lower back pain might benefit from our help, we invite you to contact one of our offices in Staten Island or Hartsdale, New York, for guidance.

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