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How Long Should You Endure Back Pain Before Seeking Help?

How Long Should You Endure Back Pain Before Seeking Help?

Americans are no strangers to back pain — it’s one of the biggest drivers of missed work days and doctor visits. Whether it’s a familiar pain or a new one, there can come a time when seeking medical help is the best course of action, and it’s a lot sooner than you may think.

As pain management specialists, Dr. Ira Siegel and the team here at Pain Center of NJ feel that any pain is pain that you shouldn’t endure, which is certainly true of back pain. Even if you’re someone who can handle pain better than most, seeking relief is always the kinder, gentler path forward.

If you’re undecided as to whether your back pain warrants our medical attention, read on.

Acute pain versus chronic pain

Some people feel that you should only seek pain management help if your back pain is chronic (it continues for 12 weeks or more), and we’d like to debunk this line of thinking.

First, let’s look at an eye-opening number when it comes to acute versus chronic pain — a whopping 20% of people who have acute lower back pain transition to chronic back pain. In many of these cases, earlier intervention might have prevented the pain from becoming chronic.

For example, if you’re in a car accident and you’re left with a sore back for which you don’t seek treatment, you run the risk of the injury not healing properly, which can cause lifelong discomfort. In fact, any time your back is involved in a trauma, it’s important that you seek our help sooner rather than later.

Another point to consider is that you may develop a progressive back issue, such as arthritis or stenosis. From the moment we diagnose degenerative conditions like these, we consider your pain to be chronic, even if you’ve only suffered from the symptoms for a few weeks. In seeing us at the first signs of trouble, we can often slow the progression of these conditions at the same time as we make you more comfortable.

Your ability to function

Although it may seem obvious, if you’re suffering from back pain that’s having a considerable impact on your ability to function normally, we feel that this is a clear sign that you may benefit from our expertise.

Relieve the pain and address the underlying cause

Another great benefit of pain management during the early days of any type of back pain is that we can make you more comfortable while you address the underlying cause through physical therapy.

To illustrate this point, if you’re developing degenerative disc disease or arthritis, the last thing you may feel like doing is strengthening exercises. By missing out on the opportunity to take the pressure off the discs and joints in your spine through physical therapy, your condition can worsen more quickly. With our pain-management techniques, we can pave the way forward for you to strengthen your back more comfortably, allowing you to enjoy sustainable pain-free movement.

Been there, done that

If you’re experiencing a familiar back pain, such as a muscle strain or spasm, and you know exactly how to relieve the problem, this might be a case in which you do not need medical help. That said, you might be surprised to find that we can offer new techniques for relieving your familiar pain, allowing you to bounce back more quickly.

If you’re struggling with back pain and you’re still on the fence about seeking help, we invite you to contact one of our locations in West Orange, Bayonne, Union City, Ridgefield, Edison, or Union, New Jersey, to explore your options.

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