Everyone has back pain from time to time. From sleeping wrong to awkwardly twisting while reaching for something, the discomfort may be severe but usually passes. But what if it doesn’t? Do you have pain that has become unmanageable? Are you wondering if you should see a back and spine specialist in Daytona?
Spine and back problems can be anything from arthritis, scoliosis, disc issues, infection, trauma, fractures, or even tumors. While all back pain isn’t severe, it is good to know when to see a professional.
Read on for information on common back issues and treatment and then when it’s time to search for a “spine specialist near me.”
Mild Back Pain Issues
Not every back pain turns severe or lasts a long time, but it can still be uncomfortable and impact your life.
Did you suffer a slip and fall injury? Were you in an accident? Maybe you have been doing some extra heavy lifting? Whatever the reason, there are some simple steps to take to help alleviate the pain.
Rest is the best thing you can do for mild back pain. You can also try intermittent heat and cold where it hurts.
Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain relievers can be taken if approved by your doctor or pharmacist and depending on your other medications. Walks, light stretches, and yoga have also been known to help. If you have tried these things and are still suffering, you may have more than a mild back strain. If you have one or more of the following conditions, it could be time to consult with a Daytona orthopedic spine specialist.
Radiating Back Pain
If the pain has started to move, that signals a problem. Your body is trying to get your attention. Pain that radiates from your back out to your extremities needs attention right away. This is especially true if the pain starts shooting down the back of your legs. This could indicate an issue with your sciatic nerve, which can be caused by a herniated disc.
Other examples would be tingling or weakness in your limbs which can quickly lead to numbness and difficulty walking. If you are experiencing any of these issues, you need to research how a spine specialist can help.
When Physical Therapy Fails
At the first sign of back pain, you probably tried all the home remedies listed above. The next step was a trip to your family doctor and maybe even some visits with a physical therapist.
Physical therapy is a good option for some back pain, and working to strengthen the surrounding muscles often helps. However, sometimes it just isn’t enough.
If you have consistently been seeing a physical therapist and there has not been any significant relief, the problem runs deeper. It is time to see a back and spine specialist.
There are different levels of back pain.
Acute pain is temporary, even though it can last a few weeks. It is manageable and gets better over time.
Chronic pain is defined as pain that is resistant to standard treatment and lingers after 10 – 12 weeks. It doesn’t get better and could even be getting worse.
If the pain is unrelenting and you are desperate for relief, it is time to call a Daytona orthopedic spine specialist.
Unable to Enjoy Life
You likely have the occasional backache that sidelines your daily activities. Those events are to be expected. When the pain gets so severe as to impact your quality of life consistently negatively, it’s time to do something.
If you are unable to perform simple daily tasks or can’t do the things you used to enjoy, make the decision to see a back specialist.
Bladder and Bowel Problems
It may surprise you to learn that back problems and bowel issues can be connected.
Extreme cases of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) can lead to lower back pain flare-ups. On the flip side, nerve damage to the lower back can aggravate stomach issues and interfere with digestion.
If you have both back pain and new or worsening bladder or bowel problems, a spine doctor needs to be seen.
What to Expect When Visiting a Spine Specialist
Once you have decided to visit a Daytona back and spine specialist, you may wonder what to expect.
The doctor will want a complete medical history, including all medications and supplements you currently take. They will also want to know about any other back treatments from other doctors. You need to bring any reports or x-rays from other visits.
The doctor will ask for specific details about the pain, when and how it started, and how it has progressed.
There will be a physical exam that tests your range of motion, balance, posture, reflexes. There will also be a visual inspection of your back and legs, including measurements.
After a complete examination, the doctor will talk to you about a possible diagnosis and the next steps toward resolving the issue.
How to Have a Strong Back
While accidents and illnesses are unavoidable, there are things you can do to help strengthen your back.
Regular exercise is an excellent place to start, primarily working on the core muscles. Sleep on a good, firm mattress with your knees bent. Be mindful of your posture and keep your back straight.
Avoid bending your waist to kneel, and instead, bend at the knees. Be careful when lifting heavy objects and keep them close to your body and center. Always stand with knees slightly bent.
It can also be beneficial to have regular massages and visits to a qualified chiropractor.
Get Back in the Game
Severe back pain will negatively impact the quality of your life.
If you are asking when should I see a Daytona spine specialist, the answer is when you are tired of the pain and ready to get on with life.
Mild back issues will resolve in time. When you are suffering from chronic pain, have failed at other treatments, have radiating discomfort or numbness, it’s time to seek help.
We want to be your Daytona back and spine specialists. Contact us today to see how we can improve your life.