5 Signs it’s Time to See a Pain Management Specialist for Your Back Pain
It’s no surprise that back pain is common. What you may not realize is just how common back pain really is. 80 percent of all adults worldwide will experience back pain at some point in their lives.
It is the one condition men and women experience equally, and a quarter of adults have had some form of back pain in the last three months. Considering the world’s population of more than 7 billion people, that’s 1.75 billion people experiencing back pain either now or in the recent past.
However, in most cases people will not seek medical attention from a pain management specialist, opting instead to take a “wait and see” approach. Fortunately, there are five key signs that you need to make the call.
1. You are frequently taking pain medication.
Whether it is over-the-counter anti-inflammatories or prescription opioids, oral pain medication is designed to offer temporary relief while other, more permanent measures are taken. Not only do you risk dependency on oral medications, over time they lose their effectiveness. Pain management specialists often use oral pain relievers as a part of their treatment plan but in conjunction with other therapies that are designed to improve your function and offer more permanent pain relief measures.
2. You experience pain doing normal daily activities.
For some reason, we revere those who can persist in going about their lives in spite of pain. What we often don’t realize is that we are less effective when we adopt this approach. Pain forces your body to compensate in thousands of ways, most without your knowledge. The way you walk, work, lift, or move all change when you experience pain, making you less effective at your daily activities than you think you are. In fact, most people do not realize just how much their back pain was affecting their lives until they are finally free from it.
3. You are missing work because of your back pain.
Back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide, accounting for more than 264 million missed workdays a year. Back pain that interferes with your ability to work and provide for yourself or your family will not go away on its own. A pain management specialist can help you find the type of relief that helps you get back to work, pain-free.
4. Your back pain is getting progressively worse.
Worsening back pain is one of the tell-tale signs that your current pain management regimen is not working. However, most back pain does not progress from one day to the next, but over a period of weeks or months. If you can look back over the course of several weeks and see that your back pain is worse, a pain management specialist can help you stop that progression.
5. Your back pain is no worse, but it is no better either.
While back pain is not considered chronic until it has persisted for 12 weeks or longer, most physicians will tell you that even subacute back pain, pain that has gone on longer than 4 weeks but less than 12, can be effectively treated with many techniques at their disposal. If your back pain isn’t getting any better or worse, you may still be a candidate for pain management.
Whether your back pain is sudden and severe or progressing over time, you don’t have to simply “live with it”. Call today for your consultation and find out if pain management is right for you.