Signs you should see an orthopedic doctor for back pain

Signs you should see an orthopedic doctor for back pain

by Yenny (SU)

Back pain is a very common complaint. A lot of people experience it at some point in their lives. In some cases, back pain gets better with self-treatment, which includes rest and taking over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatories. 

However, there are a lot of situations where back pain cannot be treated at home and needs professional help. In such cases, you should see an orthopedic physician for treatment. Orthopedic physicians are medical doctors who specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of musculoskeletal system diseases, conditions, and injuries.

So, how do you know when to see a doctor and when to wait it out? Here are some signs of when you need to see an orthopedic doctor for your back pain:

Severe back pain

Back pain can be mild, moderate, or severe. Usually, you can treat mild back pain at home. However, back pain that is severe is usually a sign of a serious health condition or injury. If your back pain is severe and is consistently interfering with your day, it's time to see an orthopedic physician. Additionally, if your back pain is chronic (comes back repeatedly), it means an underlying issue exists that needs addressing. See a doctor for a diagnosis and treatment.

Feeling weakness, numbness, and tingling in the arms, legs, and groin

If your back pain is accompanied by arm and leg weakness, numbness, or tingling, it could be a sign of a nerve issue. If your back pain travels into the groin or hip area, it could be a sign of a nerve disorder or nerve compression. If left untreated, this could lead to permanent nerve damage. The first step to prevent serious issues from developing is to get a diagnosis. Talk to an orthopedic physician if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. 

Back pain that limits movement

Visit an orthopedic doctor if your back pain limits your movements to the point that you cannot work or carry out your daily responsibilities. This means your back pain is severe enough to limit your function. Back pain should never be so severe that it starts impacting how you live your life. If you experience this, see a doctor for a diagnosis and treatment. 

Back pain that developed after an injury or accident

If your back pain developed after you were a part of an accident or injury, you should see an orthopedic physician immediately. Back pain triggered after an accident (sports, vehicular, etc.) often means something in the back got injured. You could possibly have a fracture, ruptured disc, or a pulled muscle. It needs to be diagnosed and treated quickly. In some cases, if an underlying injury in the back goes unaddressed, your symptoms can get worse. It can also make treatment later on more complicated.

Top Orthopedic Doctors for Back Pain in Northeast Tennessee

If you are experiencing back pain, it's best to see an orthopedic physician for diagnosis and treatment. In most cases, back pain doesn’t just go away on its own. There is often an underlying issue that needs to be addressed.

At Watauga Orthopaedics, we have the best orthopedic doctors in the tri-cities area. Find out what makes us the best in the field in Johnson City, Kingsport, and Bristol. Call (423) 282-9011 today to make an appointment or request one now. We look forward to seeing you soon!