Wondering if You Should See a Doctor?
You strained your shoulder during a workout, and you've been icing it and taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatories for a couple days. Wondering when it's time to see a doctor? This is an important decision, because nobody wants to show up for an appointment when the pain has passed, or wait so long that they've caused more damage to the joint, muscle or tendon.
David Taylor, MD at TriHealth Orthopedic and Sports Institute sees patients who have waited too long to get treatment, which can prolong recovery or complicate an injury. He says that while almost everyone experiences pain at some point, whether your knees feel creaky in the morning or you missed a step and twisted your ankle, early intervention and timely diagnosis are important.
Pay Attention and Watch for These Signs:
Sometimes the pain of an injury isn't serious and will pass with rest. But, if you experience the following, seek medical help:
- If a new pain is the worst you've ever experienced, seek medical attention immediately
- If you have experienced recent trauma (car accident, hard fall)
- Swelling, bruising or deformity around a joint
- If pain lasts longer than two weeks
- If you see redness and feel pain, which could indicate an infection
- If the pain interferes with normal functions such as using stairs or reaching for items
- Pain that increases with rest
- If the pain wakes you up at night
- If there is catching, or locking in a joint
If you're just not sure, seeking medical advice is recommended. Joint pain isn't normal, and there is no reason to suffer needlessly.
Last Updated: January 20, 2017