When to see a health care provider about your back pain?

When to see a health care provider about your back pain?

When to see a health care provider about your back pain?

Most variations in musculoskeletal pain can be addressed without medical attention. The symptoms often go away within a few days, but some situations require a doctor’s care.

What doctors can and can not do?

Doctors can diagnose and refer you to a specialist, if a rare or serious musculoskeletal disorder is involved. But
there is no such thing as a simple and quick
x for pain in the back, neck or shoulder. It is

important to be realistic about what to expect from doctors and therapists.

If you have prolonged recurrent pains, or if
you have had an accident or surgery, allow
enough time for the recovery. The natural
healing processes take time. When necessary, professional care can guide these processes in the right direction.

Doctors and therapists can:

Reassure you that you do not have a serious disease. Recommend treatments to help control your pain.

Advise you on how to cope with the pain and get on with your life.

It is natural that you are concerned about the possibility of a serious illness or injury. While this is not usually the case, your doctor can help determine the cause and its severity.

Visit a doctor if:

• You have a fever in addition to intense musculoskeletal pain. • You cannot manage your daily activities.

• You have severe pain which worsens instead of improving over a period of a couple of weeks.

• The pain recurs often.
• The movements of your arms or legs are significantly constricted, or they feel weak.

Warning signs

Below is a list of rare symptoms. If you have back, neck or shoulder pain, and notice one of the following symptoms, visit a doctor without delay:

• Numbness around crotch or genitals.
• Di culty in passing or controlling urine.
• Numbness, pins and needles or weakness in both arms or legs.
• Unsteadiness while standing.
• Severe pain and exhaustion that does not disappear, even after rest.

When surgery is needed?

Surgical operations are rarely needed for back or neck pain. There are two types of operations. The more common one is to relieve a nerve or nerves from compression due to, for example, a slipped disc. Another, less frequent type of operation is to x an unstable part of the spine, a procedure called stabilization. One may need an operation due to symptoms described in the warning signs above, or intolerable pain that cannot be controlled with any other means of treatment.

Surgical treatment is relatively more common in the disorders of the shoulder region than in the back or neck. Surgical treatment is often preceded or succeeded by a rehabilitation program. Almost half of the cases involving a dislocated shoulder are operated. The aim is to avoid recurrence and instability of the shoulder joint. Surgery is also often used in conditions known as the shoulder impingement syndrome and rotator cu tear. Usually functional restoration therapy is applied rst, but if the symptoms become prolonged, surgical treatment should be considered.

Pregnancy and back pain

Back pain is frequent during pregnancy, during which two simultaneous things occur. Hormonal changes loosen pelvic structures, and the fetus grows and distributes loading to the lower back in a di erent way. This often causes back pain, which can be lessened with careful exercise. Always ask your doctor before you use any non-prescription medication.

What is active rehabilitation?

Active rehabilitation, which is often called functional restoration, uses exercises as a method of treatment along with proper information about the condition and how to cope with it. Medical research has shown that functional restoration is bene cial, if at least some of the following symptoms and signs are involved:

• Your pain is intensive.
• You cannot manage your daily activities.
• The pain recurs often, is prolonged or continuous.
• You are repeatedly absent from work for this condition.