Be it back pain, leg pain or aching arms, every one of us has experience some sort of muscle pain at some point in our lives. Excessive stress on our muscles, as well as exercising when not used (which might be the reason for the muscle pains for the better part of us) cause muscle pains. Ointments, lotions and oral painkillers are usually bought over the counter from pharmacies to treat these pains – or more correctly, to reduce the pain, swelling and redness. The fact that these medications can be easily obtained from pharmacies shows us how common muscle pain; yet, sometimes, medication won’t just kill the pain. What to do then?
If medications can’t reduce the pain, or if it persists for much longer than is usual (with the usual being three days more or less), then it is very clear that the pain is not something normal – and the possibility of something being wrong with your musculoskeletal system is quite high. This means it is time to visit an orthopaedic surgeon. An orthopaedic doctor (also called an orthopaedist) is, simply put, a specialist who deals with problems in the muscles and skeleton, which is the field of orthopaedics.
Orthopaedic doctors are not limited to large surgeries or trivial pains; they range from being specialists in musculoskeletal diseases such as osteoporosis (a disease where your bones gradually decay and rot; it is more common in postmenopausal women) to being anterior hip replacement surgeons. As such, the gravity of your pain is not the question you need to ask yourself before visiting an orthopaedist – but whether the pain has persisted for long and if medication can’t quell it anymore.
As a general rule, muscle pain is common, but joint pain is not, and warrants a visit to the doctor. Pains that prevent you from engaging in your usual chores are also another common reason that’s good enough to pay a visit. Other symptoms such as fever and pain even when resting and not exercising your muscles and joints should also be mentioned here.
Orthopaedists will always strive to cure your pain with the least painful and difficult methods, such as oral medications and lotions, rehabilitation and exercise. An orthopaedist usually resorts to invasive surgeries such as knee replacements and hip replacements only when no other form of treatment can alleviate your pain. The general rule is that the more you delay your visit to the orthopaedist, the more your disease, disorder or deformity worsens, and the more will the doctor be forced to recommend you surgery as the best and provide the best treatment options. As such, as soon as you realize that your pain isn’t normal, go visit an orthopaedist and get yourself treated!