When to See an Orthopedist for Back Pain
At some point in everyone’s life, they start to experience pain in their back that might start as a simple soreness they progress to something unbearable.
Whether it’s lower back pain from bad posture, upper back pain from sports, or all over pain from aging, or a severe back injury that has caused immobility, it could be extremely detrimental to one’s quality of life.
Although the majority of back pain will go away within months, about 5% of people will require medical treatment. It would be wise to get a consultation with a doctor specializing in orthopedics if the pain your back doesn’t alleviate after 7 days if the pain starts to spread to the lower half of your body, causing loss of feeling or tingling sensations in your toes or legs, and if you notice that you have stopped doing normal day to day activities due to the pain.
If the orthopedic doctor feels that your pain is not something that will go away on its own, they will more than likely suggest scheduling an appointment for an exam.
While orthopedic doctors mainly specialize in bones and joints, they are widely known for helping those suffering from back pain or injuries. If the fear of surgery is keeping you from getting a much-needed examination, don’t let that stop you.
Many orthopedic surgeons today take non-invasive approaches to lessen back pain and possibly avoid surgery. Non-invasive treatment can include physical therapy, pain medications, or muscle relaxants. Sometimes relying on oral pain relief could just be covering up a serious issue and delaying a necessary procedure.
Orthopedic Doctor vs. Chiropractor
One of the biggest questions people have when suffering from back pain is whether they should visit a chiropractor or an orthopedic doctor. While the two specialists have many things in common, they are far from the same. One of the main differences between a chiropractor and an orthopedic doctor is that a chiropractor cannot prescribe any pain medication and cannot perform surgery.
Chiropractors focus on readjusting the spine the fix any issues with the nervous system then will refer patients to an orthopedic doctor if the pain does not lessen and could require surgery. Chiropractors focus on the spine could also lead to a recovery of a number of health issues that an orthopedic doctor would not focus on, such as migraines, allergies, and any tightness of the joints throughout your body.
All in all, if you have suffered an immediate injury or are experiencing aggravating pain that cannot be soothed, do not put off scheduling an examination with an orthopedic surgeon. Symptoms such as loss of feeling or tingling in the legs, swelling or redness in your back, and any unintentional weightlessness should not be ignored, and you should visits an orthopedic specialist immediately. If you have any questions or concerns, contact your primary care physician.
Speak with an Orthopedic Specialist Today
Are you suffering from back pain? Make an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists today to start your healing journey. OrthoArizona has 21 offices throughout the Valley, each focused on quality care, compassion, and excellent customer service. Since 1994, OrthoArizona has been dedicated to compassionate care of the highest quality.
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.