Good news. In most cases, low back pain will get better on its own after a few days. "Often, a person suffering with back pain will self-treat," says Dr. Ron Nusbaum of the Back Clinics of Canada. "The most common treatment is rest, ice and a few doses of anti-inflammatory medication. Sometimes this helps. But if the pain persists or gets worse, it’s an indication that a deeper problem exists."
So how do you know if you should see the doctor? Look for these signs:
Knees just might be the hardest working joints around. It's no wonder knee pain brings people to the doctor more than any other musculoskeletal complaint. If you injure your knee, try the PRICE method of treatment: Protect (with padding or splinting), Rest, Ice (two to three times each day for about 20 minutes), Compress (with a brace or wrap) and Elevate. Take an over-the-counter pain medication to help reduce pain of inflammation.
If you're still experiencing knee pain after a week of the self-treatment described, go ahead and schedule an appointment with the doctor.
Most headaches are more of a nuisance than anything. However, when it comes to vital organs like your brain, you don't want to mess around. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience headaches accompanied by any of the following symptoms:
You should also head straight to the doctor or the ER if you have a severe headache that wakes you up at night, headaches following an accident or head injury or if you're over age 55 and experience a headache unlike any you've had before.
Skip the ER visit, but schedule an appointment with your doctor if you see any of the following signs:
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