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Pain Severity: When Should You See A Professional?

Many individuals will experience pain that impacts their activities at some point in their life. Pain can arise from overused muscles, general wear and tear on the joints or from serious injuries and accidents such as slip and falls, motor vehicle accidents or work accidents. General aches and pains will often get better with rest, ice and over the counter medications such as anti-inflammatories. However, if the pain persists longer than a couple of weeks or progresses in intensity it may be time to see a professional for treatment.

Acute pain is defined as coming on suddenly and is usually as a result of a specific injury. Treating the injury with RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation), and other conservative therapies can help heal the injury and eliminate the pain. Pain that lasts longer than 6 months and is not linked with a specific cause or injury is defined as chronic and can cause lifelong discomfort.

Whether you’re dealing with new, short-term pain or you suffer from persistent aches and pains, we’ve put together a guide that can help. Discover treatments that can help reduce your pain and identify the signs to know when you should consult one of the physicians at Valley Orthopaedic Specialists.

When to See a Physician

If you have new, critical pain, it could be related to the overuse of your muscles or be the result of a serious injury such as a sprain or fracture. If the pain becomes severe you should seek medical advice and be evaluated by your doctor. If you are experiencing any of the below symptoms, we recommend you schedule an appointment to get a professional evaluation:

  • Severe pain that comes from your back and spreads to your legs.
  • Pain that originates in the neck and spreads into your arms.
  • Pain associated with a loss of movement
  • The pain is acute and the area is swollen or warm
  • Pain that lasts for more than a couple of weeks
  • Inability to walk or bear weight on a joint
  • Deformity of a bone or joint

Treatments for Severe Pain

Treating severe pain that’s recent will depend upon the exact cause and location of your pain. For example, some injuries could require surgical intervention, while others may be easier to tend to with non-invasive measures and physical therapy. Other potential treatment options include physical therapy, hyaluronic joint injections, platelet-rich plasma injections, and ultrasound-guided injections. Note, it’s important to be evaluated by a professional when dealing with new pain. Our professionals will work with you on an individual basis to develop the best treatment plan for your needs.

Coping with Chronic Pain

Persistent pain and physical discomfort become frustrating over time. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you’re always in pain. Our goal is to help patients by finding the most effective treatments to manage this affliction with interventional pain management that uses non-invasive procedures whenever possible. Also, physical therapy, massage therapy, relaxation techniques, and even alternative treatments may be useful in helping you cope with chronic pain.

Signs You Need Urgent Care

In some cases, chronic pain can grow worse and additional symptoms could appear. You must look out for changes in your pain and overall symptoms to know when it is time to notify your doctor. Indicators you need urgent care are:

  • Lack of sensation in an area of the body.
  • An unexpected increase in your pain intensity.
  • Sudden change in the ability to control or empty your bowels or bladder.
  • Loss of muscle power in the arms or legs.
  • Ongoing and unexplained weight loss.
  • Numbness or pins and needles that instantly occur in the hands or feet.
  • Night sweats along with pain.
  • Difficulty balancing or lack of coordination.

Whether it’s new, severe pain or you’re experiencing chronic aches, the experts at Valley Orthopaedic can help improve your quality of life! Contact us today to schedule an appointment and we’ll work with you to create a custom treatment plan for your pain.