When to see a doctor for chronic pain

Photo of clouds illustrates positive impacts of utilizing treatments prescribed by Dr. John Sarno to reduce chronic pain.

It is important to consult a healthcare professional if you are experiencing chronic pain.

You should consider seeing a doctor for chronic pain if:

  • The pain lasts longer than three months: Chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts longer than three months. If your pain persists for this length of time or longer, it is important to seek medical attention.
  • The pain is severe: If your pain is severe or significantly impacting your ability to perform daily activities, you should see a doctor to determine the cause and explore treatment options.
  • You have other symptoms: If you are experiencing other symptoms along with your pain, such as fever, weight loss, or weakness, it is important to seek medical attention.
  • You have a history of cancer: If you have a history of cancer, it is important to seek medical attention if you experience new or worsening pain.
  • You are taking pain medication frequently: If you find yourself taking pain medication frequently or in high doses to manage your pain, it is important to see a doctor to explore other treatment options and ensure that you are not at risk for medication-related complications.

Healthcare professional

During your visit with a healthcare professional, they may ask you questions about your pain, such as when it started, how it feels, and what makes it better or worse.

They may also conduct a physical examination or order tests, such as X-rays or blood tests, to help determine the underlying cause of your pain.

Based on their findings, your healthcare provider may recommend a variety of treatment options for chronic pain, including medications, physical therapy, psychological therapy, and other non-invasive therapies.

Every person’s experience with chronic pain is unique, and what may be considered severe or long-lasting for one person may not be the same for another.

Ultimately, if you are experiencing chronic pain that is impacting your quality of life, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider to explore your treatment options and develop a personalized plan that works for you.