Back pain is a fairly common occurrence, especially among active adults and the elderly. The pain can come and go, or it may persist. Sometimes it can be hard to determine whether it warrants medical attention.
Here are a few guidelines to help you decide when to see an orthopedic doctor. An orthopedic doctor specializes in the health of bones and joints and can diagnose and treat back pain that is caused by a variety of musculoskeletal ailments.
Symptoms That Should Trigger a Call to the Orthopedist
If your pain is moderate to severe and hasn’t improved with medication and rest; if you’re experiencing numbness or tingling; or if your pain is the result of an injury or fall, then a trip to the doctor is advisable.
You should consult an orthopedist if you:
- Are suffering from chronic back pain lasting longer than 12 weeks
- Have difficulty performing everyday activities
- Have a limited range of motion due to pain and joint disease such as arthritis
- Experience instability or back pain while walking, standing, or sitting
- Have sustained a soft tissue injury in your back and the pain hasn’t subsided within 48 hours
An orthopedic doctor will review your medical history, perform a physical examination, and may utilize diagnostic imaging such as X-rays or an MRI to help identify the source of your back pain. Once the cause of your pain is determined, the orthopedist can recommend and provide the appropriate treatment to reduce or eliminate your back pain.
Additionally, if your back pain is accompanied by any of the following problems, it may indicate a serious problem requiring immediate treatment:
- Weakness, tingling, numbness, or pain in your legs
- Swelling or redness on your back
- Back pain that is constant or intense, especially at night or when you lie down
- Pain that extends below the knee
- Unintended weight loss
- Difficulty urinating
If you are looking for a qualified, experienced orthopedic doctor in Broward County, Florida, call Total Orthopaedic Care (T.O.C.) at (954) 735-3535. They will be happy to answer all your questions about your orthopedic needs. You can request an appointment online, or make a same-day appointment for acute or new injuries.