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When to Take Your Back Pain to the Doctor's Office
After earning his MD at the University of California, Los Angeles, Dr. Paul W. McDonough trained in orthopedic surgery at UCLA, and then completed a spine surgery fellowship at the University of Wisconsin. Over the course of his career as an MD, Dr. Paul W. McDonough has established himself as a member of numerous professional organizations, including the North American Spine Society.

In the United States, lower back pain is quite common. Roughly four in five adults will experience lower back pain at some point in their lives. In fact, a comprehensive National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NIH) found that over 75 percent of adults had experienced lower back pain within the last 90 days. In America, back pain is the leading cause of workplace disability and one of the top contributors to lost work days.

There are many causes of lower back pain, including ligament or muscle strains, ruptured discs, arthritis, and skeletal irregularities. That said, back pain can be broadly categorized as either subacute low back pain or chronic back pain. The former is a pain that carries on for at least a month but no longer than 3 months. Chronic back pain begins at 3 months, and should always be managed by a medical professional skilled in treatment of the spine.

Considering how common back pain can be, people may wonder when it is worth it to bring back pain to a doctor. Any pain following a fall or serious injury to the back should receive medical attention. That said, minor back pain may gradually improve through self-care. However, back pain that is experienced alongside a fever or sudden bowel problems should immediately be brought to the attention of a physician.
When to Take Your Back Pain to the Doctor's Office
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When to Take Your Back Pain to the Doctor's Office

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