Back pain is common. Unfortunately, many people of various different ages and activity levels can suffer from back pain. When they do, it can range from a dull ache to a sudden sharp pain. The good news is that, in many cases, back pain is minor and will pass on its own with time and rest. However, there are situations where back pain is more severe. In some cases, back pain can be an indication of a more serious problem. The problem is that it’s often tough to tell the difference between these two types of pain. You could have more serious back issues if you:
- HAVE CHRONIC OR WORSENING PAIN: Most minor back pain will go away in a number of hours or days. You may need to rest a little bit in order to feel relief, but the pain will generally subside within a few weeks. If your pain is persistent, however, or if it gets worse over time instead of getting better, it may be a symptom of a more serious injury that you should get checked out. If you have back pain that has lasted for several weeks, speak with a doctor or medical practitioner.
- EXPERIENCE NUMBNESS: While back pain is relatively common, numbness is not. If you feel numb in your back, upper thighs, groin area or buttocks, you will likely want to speak with a doctor about your situation. This numbness could be an indication of nerve irritation or damage.
- HAVE FEVER, COUGHING OR OTHER PAIN: If your pain is accompanied by a fever or other symptoms, it could be due to the flu. However, it could also be the sign of an infection. It’s best to be safe and get it checked out.
- WERE IN A SEVERE ACCIDENT: If you fall or hit your back hard enough that you could have fractured your spine, you’ll want to seek medical attention right away. Back pain that follows a trauma could be due to a serious injury.
- EXPERIENCE UNEXPLAINED WEIGHT LOSS: If you find yourself losing more than five pounds a week for several weeks with no real explanation (i.e. you’re not eating differently or exercising more) in addition to back pain, you should see a doctor. These symptoms could indicate an underlying medical condition, such as cancer.
- HAVE BACK PAIN & FEEL GENERALLY UNWELL: If, in addition to your back pain, you are feeling unwell overall, you could have a medical issue that should be looked at. Speak with your doctor and let him or her know all about your symptoms and for how long they have been going on.
There is a wide variety of different causes of back pain. Treatments will depend on your particular issue. While many types of back pain are minor and will likely go away with rest and rehab, other types could indicate a more serious problem. By paying attention to your symptoms and getting medical help when needed, you can treat the underlying conditions, potentially ease your pain and catch a more serious problem early on. If you’re experiencing mild, chronic or severe back pain, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. Remember, at Physiomed…Healthier Starts Here.