Anyone whose been in athletics, exercises, does yard work, or has an active job has faced this question. Is my back pain just a lingering issue I can deal with or is something wrong? One of the first things to pay attention to is whether the problem gets better or worse over time. While almost all injuries heal over time, they're recovery is much longer (2-3 weeks) and will often come back quickly if re-aggravated. Being hurt presents as a short term discomfort that goes away quickly and doesn't seem to flare up with activity.
I recently experienced this first hand. Last week I had a minor surgery to repair a hernia I suffered weight lifting. It's been there for about 2 years but I had always been able to manage it by taking breaks and being smart. If I noticed pain or discomfort I'd take time off and let the swelling go down. I'd ease back into my workouts and be good for awhile. But then it made the big change. The hernia showed itself in my abdomen and after three weeks hadn't gone away. The discomfort was tolerable but constant and even after resting for two weeks the bulge was still there. This "hurt" had turned into an "injury."
I'm sure it could be argued that a hernia is an injury the whole time. But even talking about with the doctors here in Edmond my course of action was correct. With it becoming a full injury, a new course of action had to be taken. Medical care to repair the hernia was needed to prevent this from getting worse and having potential long term complications.
Here's how to figure out if you're hurt or injured. It's not a perfect science to put this in writing and never should be taken in place of sound medical advice. If you're on the fence about whether you should see a chiropractor or family physician it is always best to seek their counsel.
1. Is it getting better or staying the same/getting worse? If it's getting better, chances are it just needs time and you should feel fine. Slow down a little and let things get back to normal. If it's not changing or getting worse, suspect that there's something else going on and you need to seek help now.
2. Is the pain mild-moderate or severe? Some injuries show themselves immediately by a severe pain that makes living miserable. Any time you have pain that is affecting your ability to move or do daily tasks get it looked at immediately.
3. Does it keep coming back? Almost everyone gets an occasional headache. But you shouldn't have them 3 or 4 times a week. Same thing with other injuries. If it keeps coming back regularly, chances are it needs to be addressed.
If any of these 3 apply to you then give us a call at our Edmond office right away and see how we can help you deal with your injury and get you back in the game.