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Suffering From Back and Neck Pain? Investing in Treatment Pays Off in the Long Run
Date:3/18/2009

Why delaying or forgoing treatment may worsen your condition

PLANO, Texas, March 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Layoffs, loss of insurance, and rising medical costs are forcing people to gamble with their health. According to a recent survey, 25 percent of respondents said they have skipped a doctor's visit because of cost, while 20 percent of U.S. residents say they have trouble paying medical bills(1). Delaying visits to the doctor's office or forgoing preventive care can actually increase the cost of medical care while prolonging pain and recovery time.

Back pain is one of the most common reasons for chronic disability and incapacity for work in the western world, and the second leading reason why Americans see physicians; upper respiratory infections are first. While the problem of back pain is widespread - affecting eight out of 10 adults during their lifetime - early intervention reduces the likelihood of back pain becoming a chronic problem. Furthermore, individuals who delay treatment often see deterioration in their health-related quality of life and psychological well-being, as well as increased physical problems. Therefore, a simple doctor's visit and following your doctor's prescribed care can save you hundreds - and sometimes even thousands - of dollars in medical bills.

The question is: How do you know when you should seek a physician's advice and treatment? Dr. Richard Guyer, a spine surgeon at Texas Back Institute and one of the world's foremost experts on lumbar spinal conditions, advises you to see your doctor about your back pain if you have:

1. Bowel and bladder problems

If you are having problems controlling your bladder or bowel, you should see a doctor or go to the emergency room immediately.

2. Severe pain that does not improve with rest

If your back pain gets worse or keeps you up at night, it should be investigated. If you have a fever,
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SOURCE Texas Back Institute
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