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How Long Should You Power Through Pain Before Seeking Medical Help?

When did you last experience bodily pain? If it was a headache or a stomachache, you probably knew that you could wait it out and would feel better the next day, if not sooner.

But too many people take a similar approach with pain that limits their mobility and ability to go about their day. It can be hard to know when an injury or condition will heal on its own and when it’s time to seek medical care.

When you’re ready to see a doctor, Dev Sen, MD, and our team at Prime Regenerative and Pain Management are always here to see you in our office in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Our pain management specialists can treat low back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, knee pain, hip painsciatic pain, and pain from arthritis, helping you find quick relief. 

But how do you know when it’s time to make an appointment for lingering pain?

Factors that affect when you should see a doctor

When it comes to this decision, there are a few things to consider:

Other symptoms 

If your pain comes with other symptoms, like fever or tingling in the area or your extremities, it may be wise to seek medical care. Symptoms beyond localized pain can indicate that there’s a problem that requires treatment, like nerve damage or a systemic issue. 

Generally, if you notice other symptoms along with your pain, it’s a good idea to make an appointment so we can get to the root of the problem. 

The level of pain

If you have a dull ache that doesn’t really bother you, you can wait it out for a while before seeing a doctor.

But if the pain is sharp, persistent, or otherwise problematic in a way that’s causing you to suffer, there’s no reason to wait. The sooner you visit us, the sooner we can start you with treatment that will bring you relief. 

Impact on your mobility

If the pain makes it hard for you to go about your day, consider seeking medical care promptly. Otherwise, the pain could make it harder to do your work, maintain your household, and enjoy your favorite activities. Once the pain limits your quality of life, seek treatment. 

A good rule of thumb on when to seek medical care

Unless you’re experiencing one of the above indicators, you can try waiting to see if the pain heals. While you do, apply the RICE Method to the affected area:

If your pain doesn’t subside within a week, it’s probably more than a simple muscle strain that will heal on its own. We can diagnose the issue and explore your treatment options with you. As pain management specialists, our goal is to help you find relief from your pain as quickly as possible. 

For dedicated, effective care for your pain, call our office or make an appointment online today. 

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