When is it Time to See the Doctor?
Pain is a necessary evil. It’s not enjoyable, and you can’t help but hate it, but it’s your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. If you have been experiencing such discomfort in your back, wrist or other limb such as your leg or hand but are unsure if it is a typical ache or something more serious, read the following to better gauge when your concerns warrant a trip to a doctor or specialist.
Questions to Ask Yourself
The first step to take in investigating your discomfort is to pay close attention to it. Ask yourself the following key questions regarding your pain.
- Is it persistent?
- Is it severe?
- Are there accompanying symptoms?
If the problem has been continual and you have had no relief from rest or over the counter remedies, or if you find that the discomfort has hindered everyday activities and affected your sleep cycle, then receiving a proper diagnosis and professional treatment is the next step in getting better. If you notice the problem worsening as days go by, spreading to other body parts or causing decreased range of motion or strength in the affected areas, consult with your doctor immediately.
Keep in mind other factors outside of the pain. Think about your medical history. Have you recently suffered from an illness or injury? Do you have a fever in addition to the pained area? Have you found yourself feeling sad or less enthusiastic about previously enjoyed activities? These accompanying symptoms also signify a more serious issue than routine aches.
What Happens Next?
If your answered yes to the questions above, your next step in managing the problem is to visit your doctor. If possible, keep a detailed record with specific times and levels of discomfort to help your doctor with a diagnosis. At first, when trying to determine the cause of the pain, your doctor may recommend focusing on maintaining a healthy diet, getting plenty of rest, reducing stress and applying home remedies such as light massages or warm baths to see if any of these methods alleviate the problem.
If these methods do nothing to help your symptoms, your doctor will most likely recommend medication, therapy, or a combination of both that is most likely to help the specific area of your body that is suffering. You may be encouraged to go to a specialized clinic to receive the most effective treatment. Depending on the diagnosis, there are a variety of treatment options you may be offered. Such treatments will aim to relieve the level of pain, stabilize the issue or combine both purposes for optimal success.