We all tend to have different tolerance levels when it comes to tolerating things like back pain and niggling problems, but it is not always a great idea to brush aside the pain you are experiencing.
When it comes to back problems, orthopedic surgeons understand how to treat your specific complaint and there are plenty of compelling reasons that could affect your long term mobility, why you should seek out an expert opinion rather than attempt to soldier on.
Lower back pain – signs of potential trouble
Somewhere in the region of 80% of the population will suffer from lower back pain at some point in their life, so you would certainly not be alone if you are nursing some aches and pains in this area of your body.
Low back pain often takes its toll on your ability to do your normal work or carry out a number of your daily activities.
It could be that you have simply pulled or put too much strain on a muscle. If that is the case, then a couple of days of taking it easy might put you right, and you may well have no need to seek further medical advice or assistance, preferably to visit an orthopedic doctor.
If you experience more serious issues such as a fracture or a tumor or an infection of the spine, this is a different matter altogether and you should arrange to seek medical attention.
The same advice applies if you experience back pain as a result of a recent trauma. Other signs of potential trouble that need further investigation include, a loss of bowel or bladder control, suffering from a fever, a feeling of numbness, or unexpected weight loss.
These are just some symptoms that should not be ignored and any back pain that persists beyond a six week period should be checked by a professional,or sooner if the pain is severe and is not responding to pain-relief drugs.
Seeking further help
Your first port of call if you are suffering from back pain, is normally your family doctor, or perhaps a chiropractor.
Your doctor can give you an initial physical examination and maybe prescribe some pain relief. A chiropractor can conduct a physical examination and ask you some pertinent questions about your back pain, which may then result in a referral to an orthopedic surgeon if they feel it is required.
A chiropractor is primarily used to take a mechanical approach to your back pain and apply some manipulation or adjustment to try and put everything back as it was before and alleviate your pain.
If this works for you and you are able to resume your normal activities within a short space of time, then you will probably not need to seek a referral to a surgeon.
Physical therapy is beneficial
You should obviously seek some reassurance if you have suffered from some back pain and want to resume some of your normal activities, just to make sure that you might not be doing any damage by tackling something too strenuous.
A combination of some physical therapy and exercise together with learning how to take care of your back, will often prove beneficial in dealing with certain back problems and when you are going through a rehabilitation process.
Together with some specific exercises, if you seek to improve your regular posture and do some regular stretching and get some consistent movement, this can help. Practicing good back care will definitely help improve your prognosis with regard to dealing with and coping with minor back problems and strains.
If you have regular episodes of back pain and physical therapy has not been able to resolve or alleviate your problems to a certain extent, then it may well be time to consult with a spine surgeon.
When surgery might be needed
An important point to note is that when it comes to low back pain issues, the decision as to whether to undergo surgery is almost always up to the patient themselves.
Low back surgery can successfully correct certain anatomical conditions that are considered to be the cause of spinal instability or trapped or pinched nerves. You should also take advice on the scope of the suggested back surgery, as some procedures are more invasive than others.
Back pain affects so many of us and if you are one of the many millions who is suffering pain and discomfort, it may well be time to find out if there is an underlying problem or is surgery might help.
Melissa Flynn lives with back pain for many years before deciding that enough was enough, a doctor was needed! Now she writes for health related blogs on the subject of back pain, and what can be done about it.