Home Living Healthy Aging Well This is When You Should See A Doctor for Back Pain

This is When You Should See A Doctor for Back Pain

back pain

Our bodies are amazingly functional. However, our world can be tough on them ” causing injury, pain, and illness. From natural occurrences like changes in our spine as we age, to a tragic car or work accident, to various medical conditions, we put our bodies through a lot! It's no surprise that approximately 80% of adults suffer from lower back pain. However, living with back pain doesn't have to be just a part of life. 

According to Dr. Brandon Claflin of Oklahoma, a leading back pain doctor and co-founder of the Oklahoma Spine and Pain Clinics, pinching, shooting, burning, and stabbing pain is preventable and curable”at any age. Seeking the care of expert spine and pain management doctors and taking proper care of your body really can lead to the happy and healthy life you want.

Back pain can result from myriad causes such as a fall, lifting something too heavy, an accident, strain from overuse, a medical disorder, not stretching enough, and many more factors. And just as the reasons for back pain numerous, so are the treatment plans. One type of spine and pain management plan will never fit all types of needs.

This is why Dr. Brandon Claflin in Oklahoma curates a custom plan for each patient based on testing, medical history, and lifestyle. He also collaborates with neurologists, psychologists, orthopedic and spine surgeons/neurosurgeons, physiatrists, oncologists, psychiatrists, as well as physical/occupational therapists and chiropractors to find a path to healing that focuses on the whole person. 

To provide insight on when you should go see a doctor for back pain, we called Dr. Brandon Claflin. Below is information that he shared with us at Doctor Tipster.

When to See a Doctor for Back Pain

Symptoms Related to Back Pain

Piercing, achy, constant or intermittent pain aren't the only signs that something is wrong with your back. These symptoms should also be red flags that something serious could be happening and are worth calling a spine and pain management doctor, such as Dr. Brandon Claflin in Oklahoma. The list below includes a few symptoms that should alert you to when to call a doctor. Please note that it is not a complete list, nor tailored to your specific health conditions. 

Tingling or Numb Limbs

Have you ever felt a pins and needles sensation in your limbs? Or worse, a total loss of feeling? Either way, this typically signals that there's a problem with your nerves in the affected area of your neck or back. 

A herniated disc, spinal stenosis, sciatica, and failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS) could be just a few of the conditions causing tingling or numb limbs. These all require medical treatment from a spine and pain management specialist. If not treated in a timely manner, prolonged nerve irritation could lead to permanent damage, and in some cases even disability.


Back pain can sometimes be connected to a loss of function in your bowel or bladder”and should not be ignored or taken lightly. Certain medical conditions can result in incontinence, because the nerve compression in your spine travels down to and affects the organs that control your bladder and bowel function. If you notice a slow or quick decline in your ability to control, it could result from spinal nerve issues and should be treated as soon as possible.

Traveling Pain

If the pain travels down to your buttocks, legs, and feet, this could be a sign of sciatica caused by sciatic nerve irritation. 

Limited Mobility

If pain limits your ability to move as you normally would, it not only decreases your quality of life, but could signify a more significant medical issue.

Traumatic Events

After a traumatic event such as a car accident or fall, or even an assault, people will often get up and walk away”only to have major pain start a day or two later. This is because your body goes into adrenaline mode during the event and masks the pain. Simultaneously, you may experience emotional or mental stress related to the trauma, causing you to ignore the physical pain in your body. Either way, to reduce spinal damage that could possibly include vertebral fractures and/or spinal cord lacerations, it is essential to get immediate medical care. 

Unresolved and persistent back, neck, or spine pain can also lead to permanent damage. If your pain doesn't go away on its own within two weeks, seeking the care of a spine and pain management expert is highly recommended.

What Type Of Doctor Should I See?

Depending on your health insurance coverage, the severity of your pain, and the likely cause of the pain, you may need to see a primary doctor first. They typically include:

  • Primary Care Physicians (Pediatricians and Family Practice Doctors)
  • Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Chiropractors

Some people prefer to first try natural health therapies such as acupuncture, massages, and cupping. 

If this approach doesn't give you the results that you need, then seeing a spine specialist may be necessary. They typically include:

  • Neurologists
  • Pain Management Doctors
  • Orthopedic Spine Surgeons and Neurosurgeons 

Therapists may also provide complementary support for the mind and body care you'll need for total healing. They typically include:

  • Occupational Therapists
  • Physical Therapists
  • Clinical psychologists

Next Steps: Book Your Appointment!

Finding a spine and pain management doctor, such as Dr. Brandon Claflin of Oklahoma, is essential to putting yourself on a path to managing your pain and finding out if there is something more serious going on. Depending on what you are suffering from, talking with your primary care doctor and asking for referrals could be a good start. You can also do a Google search for spine and back pain management doctors and therapists near me.

When reviewing a doctor online, note their education, experience, certifications, and the services offered. This can help you determine which doctors will be best to interview. 

You CAN feel better and release your pain. It just may take finding the right doctor to make it happen!