Millions of Americans suffer from some type of musculoskeletal pain. While sometimes acute pain would resolve on its own, chronic, persistent pain can heavily impact your quality of life. So, the question is when you should seek the expert opinion of an orthopedic surgeon if you are suffering from pain.
Generally, persistent pain requires immediate attention rather than waiting for it to go way by itself. In fact, ignoring pain or an injury may even make it worse or lead to new problems. For example, toughing out an ankle sprain can cause problems in your knees and hips.
To know when the pain warrants medical attention, observe your body. Keep an eye on your level of your pain and how long it has been there.
Soft tissue injuries, such as twisting a knee during a run, may respond to the RICE method – Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. But, if the pain hasn’t reduced after 2 days, you should consult an orthopedic doctor. The same is true for osteoarthritis patients.
If your pain prevents you from participating in activities you once enjoyed, such as gardening or playing with your grandchildren, it may be a sign that you need orthopedic care.
If you experience stiffness in your joints, wobbliness, or a lack of balance, it could be the result of an injury or osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease. It is time to talk to an orthopedic specialist.