In my last blog I wrote about if chiropractors can help for lower back pain. In that article I established that yes in fact evidence based chiropractors can help with lower back pain. Shocking right? Well today I want to go into the follow up question that I get asked “When should I see a chiropractor for lower back pain?” This is a much tougher question to answer. Back pain in Fox Chapel in general can be a fickle mistress. Sometime after working out you just feel sore. That’s completely normal. Sometimes though that soreness just won’t go away, and you might be thinking to yourself “I wonder if I pulled something?” Similarly back pain can be just like that. Maybe you just over did it and will feel better in a day, or maybe you won’t. Determining this can be half the battle. So when should you see a chiropractor at Tauberg Chiropractic & Rehabilitation for low back pain, well in my opinion you should do so if you experience any of the following: sharp stabbing pain, pain that lasts greater than 72 hours, pain that prevents you from performing your normal activities, weakness, numbness, or tingling.
Sharp stabbing low back pain can happen for any number of reasons. Often if it is localized it will be due to a muscular injury. If there is a radiating component to the pain then it may be related to the disc. Either way sharp stabbing pain will put a damper on your physical activity levels. Really anytime pain interferes with your life you should take care of it. Yes pain is a natural occurrence, but rarely is it something that you just have to live with. Sometimes even the smallest bit of treatment and education can help you recover far faster than you otherwise would have.
You should see a chiropractor for lower back pain if you have pain that lasts for longer than 72 hours. In the first 72 hours after an injury your body will be in an acute inflamed state due to the injury. After 72 hours the body should be healing and the injury is no longer considered acute. That does not mean that pain will just magically go away. If you injured yourself bad enough then it can take a while to heal and for the pain to subside. If you are experiencing back pain after an injury for more than 3 days you have a significant enough injury that you should seek chiropractic care or some kind of conservative rehabilitation.
If you have pain that prevents you from living your life and performing normal activities you should see a chiropractor for your low back pain. I mentioned this briefly above, but it is my belief that we shouldn’t just live with pain. There’s an underlying belief in our country that people should just deal with pain and tough it out and that somehow admitting to being in pain makes you weak. This is foolish. Pain is a natural phenomenon we all experience it. I don’t care if you have a high pain tolerance or a low one, if you are experiencing pain that is bad enough to make living your life harder then you should take care of it. Even if the pain goes away on its on is it worth suffering for two weeks when you could only suffer for one? I don’t think it is. Life is short, and from my point of view if you can’t do the things you love to do because of pain then you need to take care of it.
If you experiencing weakness, numbness, or tingling you need to see someone for your low back pain as soon as possible. If you start experiencing these symptoms all of a sudden in your low back or lower extremities you need to see someone soon. These symptoms can progress rapidly in some cases and can need prompt surgical intervention. A properly trained evidence based chiropractor, such as Dr. Alex Tauberg at Tauberg Chiropractic & Rehabilitation, can identify when someone might need that prompt intervention vs. someone who can be treated with conservative care.
So if you are asking yourself “when should I see a chiropractor for low back pain?” Try to remember these tips. An evidence based chiropractor can almost certainly help you or get you to the place where you can be helped. Don’t just live with pain. Take control of your life and go see someone who can help you alleviate, deal with, and hopefully eliminate your pain. If you are in the Pittsburgh area and have low back pain please call 412-517-8124 to see how we at Tauberg Chiropractic & Rehabilitation can help you.