doctor call

When To Call a Doctor

The bottom line that everyone should remember is that if one is in doubt, consult a doctor. If back pain is getting worse over time, does not feel better with rest and over the counter pain remedies, and/or involves neurological symptoms then it is advisable to be evaluated by a back pain doctor.

When to See a Back Pain Doctor

In general, if the pain has any of the following characteristics, it is a good idea to see a physician for an evaluation:

  • Back pain that follows an accident, such as a car accident or falling off a ladder
  • The back pain is ongoing and is getting worse
  • The pain continues for more than four to six weeks
  • The pain is severe and does not improve after a few days of typical remedies, such as rest, ice and common pain relievers (such as ibuprofen or Tylenol)
  • Severe pain at night that wakes you up, even from a deep sleep
  • There is back and abdominal pain
  • Numbness or altered feelings in the upper inner thighs, groin area, buttock or genital area
  • Neurological symptoms, such as weakness, numbness or tingling in the extremities – the leg, foot, arm or hand
  • Unexplained fever with increasing back pain
  • Sudden upper back pain, especially if you are at risk for osteoporosis

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