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Justin Field

When to see a doctor for back pain

When to See a Doctor for Back Pain

May 12, 2021
By Justin Field, M.D.

For many people, back pain feels like a normal part of life. It’s estimated that 75% to 85% of Americans experience back pain at some point. Back pain appears in different forms, ranging from a dull ache to shooting pain. Most back pain occurs in the lower back, known as the lumbar region. Half of patients with low back pain episodes will experience recurrent episodes in a year.

While most back pain resolves on its own and isn’t a sign of something serious, it should be looked at by a doctor in some cases. Your back consists of a spine, muscles, tendons and nerves, so it can be hard to figure what’s causing the pain on your own. If you don’t know what’s causing the pain, you won’t know how to treat it.

By going to a doctor for back pain, you can take steps toward feeling better again. A doctor who specializes in spinal conditions can determine the cause of your pain and initiate an effective treatment. They can also treat a condition that might otherwise get worse with time.

So, how do you know when you should see a doctor about lower back pain? Let’s look at common causes of back pain and symptoms that call for a professional examination.

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