Should I Contact My Doctor Or Head To The Emergency Room For My Back Pain?

Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi

Back Pain Education

If you develop new or worsening back pain, you may know that you want to be evaluated by a doctor, but you may not know which type of professional will provide the right type of care. Should you turn to the familiarity of your primary care physician, or should you seek out care from an emergency department? In today’s blog, we check out some of the signs and symptoms that can help you determine where you should turn for spinal care.

When trying to determine where you should turn for spine care, there are a couple of different factors you’ll want to evaluate:

Medical Emergency

If you are dealing with any symptoms that suggest you’re experiencing a medical emergency, you need to head to an emergency department. You can’t sit around and wait until your primary care physician has an opening when you’re dealing with emergency symptoms. And while these types of symptoms can vary based on your individual issue, some common emergency symptoms include:

  • Severe pain
  • Inability to walk or stand
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Loss of function in arms or legs
  • Loss of sensation in your extremities
  • Loss of consciousness

Significant Change In Symptoms

If you’ve recently experienced a significant change in your symptoms, it may be wise to head to an emergency department. Now, if back pain transitions from mild or moderate, you may be able to schedule a time to see your primary care physician, but if pain has become severe or your symptoms have significantly worsened, head to a doctor who can see you in short order.

Severe Trauma

It’s also wise to seek out emergency medical care if you have suffered severe acute trauma, even if major symptoms aren’t present. For example, if you fell from a great height or were involved in an automobile accident, it’s oftentimes wise to head to an emergency department to have your injuries assessed. In the moments that follow experienced trauma, our body can release adrenaline that ends up masking the severity of our symptoms. An emergency room doctor can help to determine the true extent of your injuries and if there is any internal damage that requires immediate attention.

You Need Immediate Attention

Finally, it’s probably a good idea to head to the emergency department, an urgent care facility or a speciality center like The Midwest Spine & Brain Institute if your primary care physician is booked out for weeks or months and you don’t think your back symptoms can wait that long. The sooner you begin treatment, the higher the likelihood that your efforts will be successful, so don’t wait too long to be seen by your primary care physician. If time is of the essence, connect with a provider who can see you sooner.

Let us help find a solution to your new or worsening back pain. We’ll get you in as soon as possible, find out what’s going on in your spine and set you up with an individualized treatment plan to help you put your back pain in the past. For more information, or to set up an appointment with Dr. Sinicropi, reach out to the team at The Midwest Spine & Brain Institute today at (651) 430-3800.

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