One of my friends asked me to see her husband on an emergency basis. His back hurt and he was miserable. During evaluation and treatment, I was not able to find anything that would explain the low back pain he was experiencing. He had no past or recent history of injury, no repetitive motion problems, no unusual increase in physical activity and was experiencing no other symptoms.
I recommended he see his physician as soon as possible. He told me he had an appointment with a chiropractor the next day. I asked him to see his physician if the chiropractic treatment wasn’t helpful. He did go to his M.D. who did some testing and told him he had stage IV prostate cancer. Thank goodness he did see his physician right away because he started appropriate treatment immediately.
I wish we could help everybody who comes to us for relief of pain. However, there are problems that are beyond our realm of expertise.
Pain Needing Physician Evaluation
Back pain isn’t always caused by problems with muscles. Problems with internal organs can produce symptoms that can be experienced as pain elsewhere in the body. For example, the first symptom of a gall bladder attack may be back pain. Kidney stones do a better job letting themselves be known. That pain is so bad that is has been compared to labor pain.
A physician should see anyone with severe back pain or back pain associated with other symptoms, such as nausea, fever, lethargy, rapid heart beat or pain that travels down the arm or leg.
Significant chest pains may be caused by overworked muscles or stress, but chest pain needs to be diagnosed by a physician. Therefore, your first stop should be to the emergency department, urgent care or family physician when the issue is chest pain. This is one of those instances when “better safe than sorry” applies! If a physician says chest pain is caused by tight chest muscles, then give us a call because there is a lot we can do to ease or eliminate that discomfort.
We can effectively treat headaches, but those that are sudden or severe should be evaluated by a physician. That includes the first occurrence of what seems to be a migraine.
Anyone who is in pain because of a car accident or traumatic fall should call us after they have been evaluated by a physician.
Massage is an effective treatment for all sorts of problems. Sometimes, however, the skills of a physician are needed to diagnose and treat causes of pain. Depending on the problem, massage may be appropriate after physician intervention.