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Average ER Wait Times

Swedish Medical Center

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Swedish Belmar ER

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Swedish Southwest ER

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When You Should See Your Doctor About Spine Problems

The spine experts at Swedish Medical Center offer the following advice on when to see a back pain specialist.

Contact a doctor immediately if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Back pain with unexplained fever
  • Unexplained loss of control of your bowels or bladder
  • Severe back pain after an injury or fall
  • Pain that moves down your legs past your knees
  • Numbness and weakness in your legs
  • Back and leg pain when you lie down or back and/or leg pain that keeps you awake at night

See your doctor in 2-7 days if you have any of these symptoms:

  • You have back pain that last longer than 6 weeks
  • You have back pain with pain that moves down your leg longer than 6 weeks
  • Your low back pain interrupts your daily activity longer than 6 weeks

If your low back pain is not relieved by conservative/non-surgical treatments, surgery may be recommended. You may need surgery if

  • Your back pain limits your daily activity, like standing and walking
  • You develop other symptoms like numbness, tingling and weakness
  • You develop bladder and bowel problems

If surgery is needed to relieve your back pain, surgeons have a variety of options to relieve the irritation or pressure that is causing your pain. Your doctor will discuss these options with you. Successful surgery can result in pain relief, improved mobility and a return to a more active lifestyle.