A lot of people get the occasional ache or pain, but these little annoyances usually pass in short order.
But when the pain seems to linger, some people wait it out. They wait and then, they wait some more. Their spouses say, “Why don’t you go to the doctor?”.
They respond, “I don’t need to go to the doctor!”
And who are these people? Why, they’re men!
Men don’t like to ask directions and they like going to the doctor even less, so this post is for them. Men: does your neck or back pain need a doctor visit?
Let’s explore the question.
It’s Been Around for a Bit
If your back or neck started hurting more than 2 weeks ago and you’ve tried to manage the pain with self-care during that time, go see a doctor.
If you’re not sleeping well or refraining from pursuing some activities and tasks because of the pain, then you know it’s time. Resistance is futile. You need medical support.
The Pain Was Caused by an Injury
If your pain derives from an accident, injury or fall, your pain may be from damaged spinal discs. That’s something to pay serious attention to.
If you’ve had a whiplash injury any time during the past couple of months, the pain may be caused by that incident. While that sounds strange, many patients don’t report symptoms until weeks or months after a whiplash event.
If the pain you’re experiencing is accompanied by any of the following, the sooner you get to the doctor, the better:
- Radiating pain in the extremities
- Weakness, numbness or tingling in the extremities
- Unusual or intense headaches
- Coordination and balance problems, or problems controlling the bladder/bowel
- Nausea, chills or fever
- Sudden, unintentional weight loss
These and other red flag symptoms may mean that you’ve damaged the spinal cord or have nerve root compression. While they don’t necessarily indicate these injuries, your doctor will do what’s necessary to determine the source of the problem.
Don’t be a hero. If you’ve been in pain for longer than two weeks or are experiencing any of the symptoms shown under “red flags”, go see your doctor. You deserve to live the life you desire and being in pain puts a crimp in a plan like that. What’s more, you may have a serious underlying condition that can affect your mobility later in life.
We know you hate going to the doctor, guys. But sometimes, a guy’s gotta do what a guy’s gotta do. Do it.
Spine Consult NJ
At Spine Consult, we treat all conditions of the spine. Our mission is to serve the individual needs of our patients with therapeutic solutions from non-invasive to surgical.
We invite you to contact us, to discover our network of spine care professionals. We know there’s more to life than pain and our patient outcomes are proof of that.
Putting up with neck or back pain won’t win you any medals. It’s not heroic. Call us. Show the pain who’s boss.