Most of us give little thought to our spine unless we have chronic lower back or neck pain. Even then, many of us just take OTC medications, use heating pads, and hope it will just go away. It usually does not, so when is it time to seek a spine evaluation? The answer is sooner rather than later and here’s why.
Our Special Spine
Our spine provides support for our torso, and gives us strength, range of motion, and flexibility. Another critical purpose of the spine is to protect our spinal cord to help form a link between our brain and the rest of our body.
It gives us stability, provides movement, and acts as a shock absorber.
When Should Pain Be Evaluated?
Actually that’s a trick question. Sometimes you should get a spine evaluation when there isn’t any pain.
If you have been in an auto accident or have suffered any other traumatic sports or occupational injury, sometimes you have no pain at first. It can present itself weeks or months later, and then you have symptoms. This is a common situation which makes it more difficult to treat later.
When you seek early treatment, physical therapy can restore normal movements and help you gain flexibility.
How Bad Is The Pain
If pain is affecting your quality of life and preventing you from working and sleeping, or preventing you from enjoying normal activities, it is probably time to make an appointment for a spine evaluation with OrthoNY.
Note Any Red Flags
Certain symptoms may be associated with an underlying condition. If you have back pain and suddenly have any of the following red flag symptoms, it would be prudent to seek a spine evaluation as soon as possible.
- Unexplained weight loss
- Pain that wakes you up at night
- Fever, night sweats, and chills can indicate an infection
- Any functional weakness, numbness or tingling could be due to a nerve injury
- A history of cancer
Don’t suffer with back or neck pain and think it will “just go away.” There are available treatments including injections, exercise, physical therapy and medications to relieve your pain.