Back pain can come and go. It can be so severe that you can’t get out of bed or it can just be a little nagging interference with day to day life. Many people find that if they are just careful and patient it will ease up and go away on it’s own. A lot of people find that their pain comes out from sitting too long but they find it is hard to avoid sitting. Because almost everyone wants to save time and money they often don’t seek care unless they absolutely have to. But how do you know when you should seek treatment for back pain? Here are some good guidelines:
When to seek back pain treatment
If your pain is not getting better within 2 weeks, then you should seek treatment. If your pain is not getting better within 2 weeks, then you should seek treatment.
The trouble with pills
Unfortunately people think that they are ‘treating’ their back by taking aspirin, Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Aleve, muscle relaxants, cortisone or opioid pain pills. The biggest problem with this approach is that no medication can change the reason that you have back pain. However, this is the first and most common way that people know about to help their back pain.
But when a pill ‘works ‘ people feel less pain and they assume that the medication fixed their problem. What pills really do is temporarily decrease inflammation or dull your brain so that you feel less pain. This does not change the reason that you felt pain in the first place.
If you read the labels of most medications, they clearly state to seek care if pain continues past a week or two. Taking many of these medications for prolonged times can lead to stomach ulcers, kidney or liver damage and addiction to opioids. People often end up more sick than they were before their back pain. And, they don’t really address the real reasons that they started having back pain in the first place. There are many reasons why people can have back pain; but it is never because they had a shortage of drugs in their blood.
What is Causing your back pain?
It is important to seek a proper diagnosis of what is causing your back pain for two reasons:
1.)Some serious internal conditions can feel like the most common muscle or joint back pain but may actually come from an internal organ problem.
2.) If the pain does turn out to be from a hurt muscle or joint, allowing the pain to continue will eventually increase the degeneration of the muscles and joints. Which means it will take you longer to get better and increases the likelihood of pain returning. This is because the longer you wait to seek care, the faulty mechanics in one area of your body leads to problems in other areas.
The problems called compensation and recruitment
You may start out with back pain, take pills for months and then find you now have neck pain, shoulder or hip pain too. Think of it like when one leg hurts, you favor that leg and limp. You make the other leg carry more of your weight. Soon you have ankle pain, back pain or hip pain on the side you are using more. This is called compensation and recruitment and it can happen when any body part does not move smoothly and when your muscles have knots that you may not even be aware of.
No drugs can correct this situation. Only competent hands-on care that restores normal movement of joints and removes muscle knots and trigger points can make a change so that you move and function without pain, stiffness or drugs.
What to do
So why suffer? If you have back pain that does not return to normal within 2 weeks, call us for an appointment to get your back checked out.
Part of our job is to determine what is the cause of your back pain: muscle, joint, pinched nerve, or internal organ. For the great majority of people the work we do starts helping right away because we help their bodies restore their joint, nerve and muscle function. There are a few people that we examine that we we find with uncommon conditions and we send those individuals to the appropriate doctor for care. That way most people feel better sooner, and they stay healthier because they are not taking drugs needlessly.