Almost every adult will have back pain at some point in their life. That is why it is imperative to know how to recognize your symptoms, their severity, and how long they last. In our younger years, back pain was often regarded as “normal” and they were explained away by daily life activities like over-exercising, sitting for too long and picking up children.
In our older years, it is more common to have work injuries, degenerative conditions, and symptoms of arthritis. The fact that back issues are quite common makes it easily dismissible by patients who have symptoms. You may also want to read this article to know the symptoms of degenerative disk disease. These symptoms might likely mean it is an emergency requiring medical attention.
If your back pain is brought on by an activity e.g., twisting your body the wrong way or lifting extremely heavy objects, the pain should subside totally within a period of 72 hours. This is especially if you applied ice and had some rest.
But if the pain gradually creeps on, does not subside, or suddenly appears, chances are your condition is more serious than you think. It is advised that you visit the emergency room because you might be battling a more severe injury or condition.
Symptoms of Back Pain That Require You To See a Doctor
You may wonder, “should you go to the emergency room for back pain?” Before you start overthinking, below are some sensations or symptoms that might suggest an emergency.
Pins and Needles Or Numbness in the Glutes or the Groin
This is called saddle anesthesia and is also an indication of severe spine or nerve condition.
Loss of bowel or bladder control, coupled with back pain, can also be an indication of severe spine infections like meningitis or nerve compression. It could also suggest Cauda Equina syndrome, a condition in which the lower spinal nerves are paralyzed. Although rare, it might permanently damage the nerves if it is left untreated. These symptoms along with numbness of the legs might call for the need to undergo surgery to preserve nerve function and also decompress.
Sudden Weakness of Legs
Weakness of the limbs might be a result of compressed nerves caused by spinal stenosis or sciatica.
Shooting or moving pain in the legs or glutes could suggest a nerve compression issue.
Sharp Pain Instead of Dull Ache
This could also suggest a torn ligament or muscle or it could indicate trouble in the sides or back.
The flu is capable of giving you high fever and aches. But if the fever does not go away after standard medications, you might have an infection that requires immediate treatment.
The intensity of Pain at Particular Times or Particular Positions
If you lay awake at night because of back pain or if you experience the pain more in particular positions, it could indicate a severe problem. It might be a fracture, an infection, or cancer.
Unexplainable Weight Loss
You may be experiencing weight loss that seems unexplainable. But it may be caused by lifestyle changes or diet especially when it occurs with back pain. It is important to see the doctor to dismiss the likelihood of a serious condition like a tumor or an infection.
Pain Due to Accident
Maybe you were involved in a motor accident, fall, or have any injury that gives you back pain, it might be the right time to visit a doctor. Perhaps you sustained an injury or fracture that requires attention as soon as possible. You can check out https://www.forbes.com/ to know what experts say about being involved in an accident.
Perhaps the back pain is accompanied by pains in other areas of your body e.g., shooting pain in your leg, you should consult your doctor. This symptom might suggest sciatica, a pain that afflicts one’s sciatic nerve. A doctor would offer ways to relieve the pain.
Most of the time, back pains subside in a couple of days. However, if this pain lasts for over a week, it is time to visit the emergency room. The doctor would perform tests and examinations to determine the origin of the pain before it turns into a more serious problem. Addressing and preventing health problems early remains paramount.
Despite how dreadful all these may sound; you can rest assured that a great percentage of back pain is benign as claimed by research. It is imperative to remain calm to critically access your symptoms and pain and trust medical professionals to help you determine why you feel the way you do.
If you are experiencing red-flag symptoms or bothered about your symptoms, emergent evaluation might be necessary. Severe spinal disorders often need spine surgery and quick action may avert permanent nerve damage. If you encounter any or some of the symptoms, seeking medical attention immediately would be the right thing to do.
Ultimately, it is essential to always disclose your symptoms to your doctor even if you’re not entirely sure they are interconnected to the pain in your back. Your doctor would figure out and develop the best treatment plan and workup best suited to your needs.
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