Back pain is one of the most common ailments that general practitioners are asked by patients to treat. The pain may result from an injury, poor posture, or an illness that affects certain parts of your body that convey pain to the back area. However, when the pain that is based in your back begins to affect other parts of your body, you may need to consult a doctor to address additional areas like the neck, chest, hips, or legs.


Being diagnosed with a back sprain usually requires less treatment and recovery time than a fractured disc. If the doctor did not order a scan, or if the scan did not clearly reveal a fracture or other more serious problem, you may be getting treatment for an injury that is different from the one you actually have. If the pain persists or spreads, it might be a good idea to get additional testing or a second medical opinion.

Ineffective Treatment

Whether or not you received the wrong diagnosis, inappropriate treatment could also cause your back pain to extend to other parts of your body. Some patients receive the wrong medication or an incorrect dosing prescription so that their back pain not only remains but also affects other body areas. If this happens, you may want to ask for a medical referral to a back pain management facility for more comprehensive evaluation and an extensive treatment plan.

Failure to Follow Through

Sometimes, patients fail to follow the doctor’s orders for rest and treatment. If physical therapy is recommended, they might not go for all the suggested weekly visits, or they may not do the exercises at home prescribed by the therapist.

Medications that are misused or not used correctly can cause side effects or problems that would cause some people to stop taking them. In such cases, the doctor should be notified, but certain patients decide to let their back heal on its own, which may worsen the pain and cause it to spread.

Ignoring Symptoms

Many back injuries that receive suitable treatment will clear up in relatively short period of time. However, people who don’t consult a doctor or follow medical recommendations might notice their back pain is getting worse and impacting other areas of the body. Persistent pain should be discussed with the doctor for relief of symptoms.

Back pain is a frequent complaint that should be evaluated and treated without delay. Contact your doctor if you experience intense or lasting back discomfort.

Author's Bio: 

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.