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Is My Pain Serious?

How do you know whether your pain needs to be evaluated by your chiropractor? This is the age-old question. The answer needs to be specific to your particular problem, rather than a one-size-fits all solution. But there are good guidelines that everyone can follow.
First, is your pain deep and boring (that is, does the pain feel like it's boring into you)? Deep and boring pain usually means something is seriously wrong. If you're woken up at night by this type of pain, a visit to your chiropractor or family physician is in order. Kidney stones and inflamed gallbladders are common causes for deep, boring pain that causes a person to awaken from sleep. Severe heartburn is in this category, too, and should be evaluated by your doctor.
But these types of problems are easy to categorize. You'll probably know, instinctively, that something is wrong. Musculoskeletal pain is rather more difficult to analyze. For example, you lean over in a twisting motion to grab the glass of water on your nightstand and you feel a sharp pain in your lower back. Next morning you have great difficulty getting out of bed. Your lower back is stiff and sore. What should you do?1,2
Your best course of action will be based on a self-assessment. If you're experiencing pain that radiates down your leg, or numbness or tingling sensations traveling down your leg, you should call your chiropractor's office and ask to be seen right away. Or, if you don't have any radiating pain, but sneezing or coughing does provoke a radiating sensation, take the same action. Similarly, the amount of pain you're having will determine what you do. If the pain is severe, see your chiropractor.
If none of these criteria are present, decision-making gets a bit murky. How you handle your problem will depend on your tolerance for pain. If you have low tolerance, make an appointment to see your chiropractor and get some expert treatment. If you have a higher pain threshold, you might still call for an appointment just to make sure that nothing is seriously wrong. Certainly, if you haven't improved at all after 48 hours, you need to see your chiropractor.
There is another important scenario. If you have a medical condition such as cancer, an endocrine disorder, or a systemic infection, a sudden occurrence of back pain needs immediate attention, regardless of how or why you think the pain occurred.3 This is not to be an alarmist, but rather the recommendation is based on precaution. If there is an existing problem, then new issues need to be looked at closely, just to be sure.
These guidelines provide a sound basis for decision-making, but please remember they are just that - guidelines. Each person needs to be comfortable with their own process. And, of course, it's always much better to be safe than sorry. Your chiropractor is always available to help you sort out these kinds of problems.
1Smart KM, et al: The discriminative validity of "nociceptive," "peripheral neuropathic," and "central sensitization" as mechanisms-based classifications of musculoskeletal pain. Clin J Pain 27(8):655-653, 2011
2Arendt-Nielsen L, Graven-Nielsen T: Translational musculoskeletal pain research. Clin Rheumatol 25(2):209-226, 2011
3Casazza BA: Diagnosis and treatment of acute low back pain. Am Fam Physician 85(4):343-350, 2012

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Testimonials

Reviews By Our Satisfied Patients

  • "Good advisor and listener, he loves his job to treat people. He makes the extra step for his patients."
    John M.
  • "Ik ben op zoveel plekken geweest, maar niemand is beter dan Chis!"
    V. Donders
  • "Erg aardige en kundige chirpractor, een aanrader!"
    Mieke B.
  • "Chris is by far the best Chiropractor experience I have ever had, and I have been to many. He has lots of knowledge and really works to fix whatever issue you might have. I recommend him to anyone that ever asks me for a Chiro or Physiotherapy."
    Randall Z.
  • "Very Professional, very nice and very knowledgable guy and above all inspires trust"
    Muhammad Sam J.
  • "Zeer goede chiropractor... Aanrader!"
    Dave J.
  • "Chris neemt de tijd voor zijn patiënten en weet waar hij over praat. Ik ben zeer tevreden over zijn werk, kan hem van harte aanbevelen."
    Robert C.
  • "Ik ben heel tevreden over Chris! Ik kon op stel en sprong terecht en mijn klachten werden adequaat aangepakt. Een aanrader voor iedereen die op zoek is naar een goede chiropractijk."
    Arjen B.
  • "Christopher is vriendelijk en zeer kundig. De beste chiropractor in Amsterdam."
    V. Overdijk
  • "Super correctie!"
    Steven D.
  • "Ik kwam bij Christopher terecht met problemen aan mijn been en rug. Daarvoor was ik al 8 maanden bij huisarts, fysio, podoloog en mensendieck in behandeling maar niets hielp. Christopher heeft al na 2 behandeling mijn klachten opgelost en ben nu eindelijk pijnvrij. Ik ben dus zeer tevreden."
    Carla C.
  • "Tijdens een vakantie op IJburg verging ik ineens van de rugpijn. Ik liep rond als een kruk, maar na een aantal sessies bij Chris Boothe verliet ik het eiland met een gezondere rug dan ik in jaren heb gehad. Ik kan hem iedereen aanraden. Niet alleen vanwege zijn kennis en kunde, maar ook vanwege zijn gevoel voor humor en aanstekelijke positiviteit"
    Nadine Munninghoff — 5 star
  • "Chris goes to great lengths to solve acute and long term pains. I can certainly recommend him."
    Saskia Sanders
  • "Super friendly and professional. I am pain-free these days!"
    Flávio Badenes
  • "Dr Chris Boothe is a very dedicated chiropractor, and a caring person with a great personality. I would definitely recommend him!"
    Debora Ifijen
  • "Chris is the best Chiropractor in Amsterdam! Highly recommended"
    Wendy Kan
  • "Dr. Booth is great! He really takes the time to listen to everything going on, and makes you feel all your issues are being addressed. Very friendly too. Would recommend 100%"
    Dr. Stephen Malone
  • "Great guy, listens well, overall a great experience. Highly recommended!"
    Jeffrey Slijkhuis
  • "Competent service, nice guy."
    Michael Blok
  • "Best Chiropractor in Amsterdam."
    Rene Rabe
  • "ander half jaar geleden vreselijk pijn, kon bijna niet lopen.
    Ben naar Boothe ingestapt na 1 behandeling was ik pijn vrij.
    Ik raad het aan een ieder aan. Your the best."
    Melissa Wong — 5 star
  • "I crawled in and walked out. With a smile on my face."
    Iris Schmohl - 5 Stars
  • "I am very happy that we have such a good chiropractor at IJburg! I have traveled far for years because chiropractic is the best and fastest way to get rid of your pain."
    Myranda BruggeI
  • "Best Chiropractor in Amsterdam!"
    CK — 5 star
  • "Shelly Schomakers reviewed Boothe Chiropractie — 5 star"
    Shelly Schomakers
  • "Casasole Thibault reviewed Boothe Chiropractie — 5 star"
    Casasole Thibault
  • "Ömer Okur reviewed Boothe Chiropractie — 5 star"
    Ömer Okur
  • "Peter Ravelli reviewed Boothe Chiropractie — 5 star"
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