20 Sep 5 Signs That it’s Time to Call a Doctor for Your Back Pain
Back pain is a common problem many experiences at some point in their lives. It is usually nothing serious and can be treated with over-the-counter pain medication or home remedies.
For example, simple stretches and exercises, applying heat or cold to the affected area, and massaging the muscles can often provide relief.
Read more: 8 Stretches That Can Relieve Lower Back Pain.
However, there are some instances when back pain can signify a more serious condition requiring medical attention. If you experience the following five signs, it is best to seek medical help immediately.
1) You Have Pain After an Accident
Car accidents, fall, and other types of trauma can cause back pain. If you have been hurt in any accident, you must see a doctor immediately, even if you don’t think you are injured.
Pain may occur for various reasons like an injury, degenerative changes, or nerve compression. However, if the pain is severe, it might indicate a serious problem.
For example, if you experience pain after a fall, it might signify a spinal fracture.
2) There Is Numbness, Tingling, or Weakness in Your Legs
If the pain in your back is accompanied by numbness, tingling, or weakness in your legs, it could be a sign of a more severe problem. It is especially true if the symptoms extend below your knee. These symptoms could be caused by a herniated disc or spinal stenosis, which can be severe. With proper treatment, most cases of back pain can be resolved relatively quickly.
3) Certain Positions Aggravate the Pain
Sometimes, your back pain might feel better when you move around or shift your position. But other times, certain positions — like bending over to pick something up — worsen the pain.
This is especially true if the pain increases when you bend over and round your back. This could be a sign of a herniated disc, which happens when the gel-like center of a spinal disc pushes out through a tear in the disc’s outer layer. A herniated disc can cause nerve pain that worsens when you bend your back.
If you experience back pain, paying attention to what makes the pain better or worse is essential.
If you have suddenly developed incontinence or are unable to control your bowels or bladder, this is a sign that something is seriously wrong. This could be due to an infection or injury to the spinal cord.
The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that runs from the brain down the spine. It controls all movement and sensation in the body. If it is injured, it can cause paralysis or loss of feeling.
If you have any of these symptoms, a doctor will likely order an MRI or CT scan to check for damage to the spine.
5) Weight Loss and Fever
Back pain accompanied by a fever could be a sign of an infection, like a spine abscess. This is especially true if you’ve recently been hospitalized or had surgery on your back. Other signs that an infection might cause your back pain include chills, sweating, nausea, and vomiting. You must check with your doctor now if you have any of these symptoms.
For lower back pain relief in Chicago, contact Illinois Pain and Spine Institute. Our pain management specialists offer comprehensive medical care for acute and chronic back pain patients, including minimally invasive spine surgery.