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When Should I See a Pain Specialist for My Bad Back? 2 years ago

Back pain is one of the most common reasons to visit a pain center. Back pain arises from any medical situation, an injury, and any occupational activity.

The symptoms of this pain can vary from gentle to rigorous. It can be episodic, constant, short-lived, or long-lasting and can limit your limited range of motion, thus preventing you from performing your daily activities.

Types of Back pain

There are two types of back pain i.e., acute and chronic back pain. Let’s discuss them in detail below.

Acute Back pain

This pain is short-term pain that lasts generally for two to six weeks. This pain occurs because of any injury or trauma and there is no other cause of this pain. And even it occurs because of the spinal cord disorder. Also, it can restrict the spinal flexibility of the patient and makes it difficult for them to stand, walk, etc.

Chronic Back Pain

This pain is generally related to age, but sometimes it occurs because of some serious injury. There are some typical causes like arthritis of the spine, disc problems, and spinal stenosis, etc. this pain continues for 12 months or more than that. Also, after the surgery of back pain, it causes acute pain.

Who are Back Specialists?

Doctors who treat back pain include chiropractors, osteopathic, surgeons, physiatrists, anesthesiologists, neurologists, rheumatologists, physical therapists, and occupational therapists.

When to See a Practitioner for Pain?

In most cases, this pain is temporary and goes away with or without treatment. However, if it does not respond to rest and typical pain medications, it is desirable to see a surgeon for an evaluation.

You may start with your primary care provider, but in severe cases, it is recommended to visit a back pain specialist.

Potential Causes of Pain:

There are many causes of low back pain. While most of them are acute with no serious underlying reasons, some others are fatal like cancer or infection.

Some of its most common causes are:

  • A sudden and awkward movement
  • Trauma from a fall or car accident
  • Small compression fractures (Osteoporosis)
  • Bulging or herniated discs
  • Abnormal curvature of the spine
  • Constipation
  • Cancer of the spine
  • Kidney stone or infection

Some serious underlying conditions that cause pain in the back include:

  • Fractured vertebrae after traumatic injury
  • Metastatic cancer
  • Infection of the vertebral body (Osteomyelitis)

Pain that Requires Urgent Medical Care

Given below are some symptoms which indicate that there is pain and it is a serious problem, and require instant medical care.

  • It arises from a traumatic injury
  • It accompanies abdominal pain
  • It continues for more than six weeks
  • It causes weakness, numbness, or tingling in the arms or legs
  • It worsens with standing, walking, and lifting
  • It gets worse at night
  • It causes difficulty in passing urine


The back pain is harmless and it goes by taking some rest or doing physical activities. However, if the pain persists for months and is accompanied by one or more of the aforementioned symptoms, then it’s better to have the pain specialist right time at the right place.

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