Back Pain – How to Know If It’s Something More

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One-half of all working Americans have back pain symptoms at least once throughout the year. In fact, back pain is the single most common reason for employees to call in to work, and one in ten primary care visits are directly related to low back pain. In Arizona, at our Phoenix doctor’s offices, we see hundreds, if not thousands, of back pain cases a year, many of which can be treated, even prevented, efficiently.


When To See Your Phoenix Physician

At some point in our lives, we will all suffer from back pain. As an experienced Phoenix physician, I can tell you that it’s pretty much inevitable. With that said, it’s important to know when to see the doctor, and when to simply get some R&R.


If you just had a fall, stumble or received an injury of some type like a care accident, see your Phoenix physician. The back pain might not just be from repetitive motion like working on the computer or construction; it might be from trauma or injury.


If you start to develop a fever in association with the back pain, see your Phoenix physician. A fever in association with back pain could be a sing of a serious infection.


If you feel any numbness or tingling, thought quite common with back pain, you should see your Phoenix physician. Numbness and/or tingling can be the direct result of a nerve irritation, nerve damage, or a pinched nerve. Prolonged nerve damage can lead to for more debilitating issues such as arthritis, RA, and much more.


If you began to lose bladder control or bowel function, see your Phoenix physician immediately. The spine is an intricate tool that is connected to every single aspect of your body, from your brain down to your toes. Many times, if one of these areas is not working properly or is in pain, it could be directly related to your back.


If you have trouble sleeping due to the back pain, see your Phoenix physician. Back pain should not be keeping you up at night or waking you up from sleep. If you wake in the morning and feel groggy throughout the day, your sleep might not be as restful as it needs to be due to your back pain. A lack of sleep or restless sleep can lead to many other health conditions, including heart disease and stroke.


What Can the Doctor Do for Back Pain?

 There are a variety of treatments for back pain, depending on the location of the pain, the intensity of the pain, the cause of the pain, and the environment that the patient is in every day.


Before the back pain is treated, an accurate diagnosis for that back pain must be made. Was there an injury? Is it a nerve issue? Is it a disc issue? In any treatment of the back, the best treatment is only as good as it’s initial diagnosis, and this might be the toughest part for any Phoenix physician.


The most common treatment for back pain is some R&R. Some good rest and relaxation, as well as ice and heat and some anti-inflammatory, over-the-counter medications, will usually do the trick. The myth associated with back pain treatment is bed rest. In fact, bed rest can actually be bad for back pain, making recovery slower.


If the back pain does not subside, or you are in an industry where repetitive motion constantly aggravates the back pain, your Phoenix physician can recommend prescription medications and a physical therapist or chiropractor.


If you are experiencing back pain, your best bet is to get in to see your Phoenix physician to determine the root cause of the back pain. If the pain is chronic, meaning that it lasts for more than a month, do not put off seeing your Phoenix physician. Prolonging the visit could cause lasting, negative effects.


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