When to See a Doctor About Back Pain

Pain is your body’s way of telling you something isn’t right — whether it’s temporary discomfort or chronic pain. But identifying and treating the cause behind pain isn’t always easy, and many people hesitate to seek professional care.

Back pain, in particular, is one of the top causes of disability worldwide. Chronic back pain can limit your mobility and your quality of life, but it’s not always easy to know when it’s time to see a doctor.

Does your back pain warrant a trip to the doctor? And how can you find the right care for your back pain? As a pain management specialist, Eric K. Fanaee, MD is here to help. He offers a range of treatment options designed to give you real relief from your pain, and he recommends making a doctor’s appointment for your back pain when ...

You suffer an injury

Acute injury — like a car accident, a fall, or improperly lifting heavy objects — can lead to back pain. If you’ve recently suffered an injury, seeing a doctor is one of the best ways to treat acute pain and prevent chronic pain from developing.

Herniated discs are some of the most common back injuries, but they don’t always happen suddenly. The discs in your spine cushion your vertebrae and can degenerate over time. Common symptoms of herniated discs include pain, numbness, and tingling, and pain can often be managed with conservative treatment.

Your pain becomes chronic

About 90% of all back pain incidences resolve within six weeks. If your back pain lasts for weeks, months, or even longer, it’s considered chronic pain. Chronic pain may be a sign of a more severe underlying condition, and it calls for a professional evaluation.

Throughout the day and at night, pay attention to the way your back feels. Do certain activities make pain worse? Do you feel constant pain, regardless of your activity? Does pain dissipate during the day but get worse at night?

Your risk of pain and related complications increases as you get older, especially if you’re over 70. However, anyone with chronic pain should plan to visit the doctor for treatment. 

Conservative treatments aren’t working

Dr. Fanaee generally recommends conservative treatment when you’re first diagnosed with back pain. These treatments often include pain medication, activity modification, and physical therapy, and they can be very effective for mild to moderate pain.

But if you’ve exhausted your conservative treatment options and you’re still dealing with back pain, visiting the doctor can give you more insight into your spine health and other treatment options available to you.

Dr. Fanaee specializes in pain management techniques that go beyond at-home care. If you’re living with pain that doesn’t resolve with conservative methods, he may recommend more advanced treatment with a spinal cord stimulator

Spinal cord stimulation is particularly effective for neuropathic (nerve-derived) pain. It involves a surgical implantation procedure, and the method works by quieting pain signals to the brain for lasting pain relief.

Don’t ignore your pain. Find personalized solutions that relieve your back pain with Dr. Fanaee. Call one of our offices — in Islandia, Smithtown, and West Islip, New York — or request an appointment online now.

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