Should I see a physical therapist for back pain?

After an episode of low back pain has lasted between two and six weeks, or if there are frequent recurrences of low back pain, physical therapy is often recommended. Some spine specialists consider physical therapy sooner, particularly if the pain is severe.

Can a physical therapist diagnose back pain?

Many factors can contribute to lower back pain. In order to treat the pain effectively, the physical therapist performs musculoskeletal tests and compares symptoms to determine factor or factors causing the pain.

What professionals do I see for lower back pain?

If you are referred to a specialist for chronic back pain, it will likely be to one of the following:

  • Physiatrist. …
  • Physical therapist. …
  • Anesthesiologist (pain management) …
  • Rheumatologist. …
  • Spine surgeon.

What is the best doctor to see for back pain?

If your back pain is from a strain, sprain, or other mild injury, but it isn’t going away, call your primary care doctor. If the pain is severe, ongoing, or you have numbness or tingling in your arms or legs, you can call a healthcare professional like a chiropractor, physiatrist or orthopedist.

Can physical therapy make your back worse?

ALL PAIN, NO GAIN

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Interestingly, while it means that physical therapy can lead to a traumatic experience, the reverse is true indeed. You are much more likely to worsen injuries and prolong the discomfort and pain you are already feeling by avoiding care at a physical therapy facility.

How do you know if back pain is muscle or disc?

Your doctor can perform a neurological exam to check muscle strength, reflexes, walking ability, and the ability to feel touch. Imaging tests may be ordered to diagnose the cause of your pain. A CT scan shows cross-sectional images of the spinal column and can pinpoint a herniated disc.

How do you know if back pain is muscular or skeletal?

Back Pain Symptom Checker:

Typically, pain originating in your spine will look a little different than pain from a muscle. You may have a more burning or electric type pain, or your pain may be constant. With spinal-issue pain, you may also have pain that “shoots” down your leg or into your glutes.

How do you know when back pain is serious?

When you should go to the ER for back pain

If your back pain is accompanied by any of the following symptoms, head to your closest emergency room because you could be dealing with a more serious condition or injury: Sudden spike in pain, discomfort, weakness or numbness. Loss of bladder function. High fever.

How long should lower back pain last?

Acute episodes of lower back pain usually last from a few days to 4 weeks and subacute lower back pain lasts between 4 to 12 weeks. However, according to the National Institutes of Health, about 20 percent of people with acute back pain go on to develop chronic back pain—defined as pain that lasts 12 weeks or longer.

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