Assesing severity, onset, location, and timing of a patient’s pain is really important.
To more specifically guide treatment options, you may ask more specific questions, like:
- How did the pain start?
- Where does it hurt?
- Is the pain local or radiating?
- Is the pain present all the time, or just when you move or preform specific activities?
- Does rest ease the pain? Does it get worse?
If your patient is experiencing back pain following a serious fall, and/or is accompanied by any of these other symptoms, it may be time to refer them to a specialist.
- New bowel or bladder problems
- Severe pain that has not improved with rest
- Pain that spreads doen one or both legs, especially below the knee(s)
- Weakness or tingling in one or both legs
- Unexplained weight loss