You have probably experienced back pain at some point, like most people. According to research, the leading cause of disability is back pain.
You can experience back pain in different ways, from being dull and sharp or one that lasts for many weeks with severe pain. Various home treatments can work depending on the intensity of the discomfort. However, how can you determine that you need to see a doctor because the issue has become serious? If any of the following applies to your back pain, it is time to seek immediate medical help.
Your Back Pain Lasts More Than One Week
Back pain commonly subsides after days. But if yours lasts for more than one week, call your doctor immediately. They will conduct various tests and examinations to help diagnose the problem before it advances and becomes worse. Early diagnosis and prevention are vital to avoid serious complications.
Progressive Pain to Your Other Body Parts
Back pain that extends to the other parts of your body, like your leg, could mean a serious problem that needs immediate medical attention. The pain may be affecting your sciatic nerve that runs from your lower back via your buttocks, then branches down your legs. This problem, called sciatica, comes from herniated disks. Your doctor can find different ways to relieve your discomfort.
You Have Weakness, Tingling, or Numbness
Back pain that comes with numbness, weakness, or tingling can occur because of nerve damage or irritation. You are likely to have a nerve problem if it persists after your home treatments or taking over-the-counter pain medication. If left untreated, it can result in disability or irreversible damage.
The Pain Worsens in Some Positions
If your back pain worsens when you stay in some positions, the problem may be severe. You could have a problem in your overall systems, such as a fracture, compression of your nerves, infection, and sometimes cancer.
The Pain Worsens at Night
If you wake up during the night due to the back pain worsening, it could mean the problem is more severe than you perceive it. You may have a systematic dysfunction that requires immediate medical intervention.
You Have Urination or Bowel Problems
Back pain that comes with losing control of urination ability or bowel movements is a sign you need to see your doctor immediately. Experiencing this could indicate your lower spine has paralyzed nerves. The problem can have irreversible damage if left untreated.
You are likely to go through surgery if you experience such warning signs accompanied by your legs becoming numb. Your doctor may recommend surgery to help preserve your functioning by decompressing your nerves.
You Lose Weight Unexplainably
Sudden unplanned weight loss with no change in lifestyle or diet could be a problem, especially if it goes together with back pain. Seek medical help to rule out the potential of anything severe like a tumor or infection.
You Have a Fever
If your back pain comes with a fever that does not respond to over-the-counter medication, you need immediate treatment. It may be a severe infection.
You Get Back Pain After an Accident
If you get involved in a minor or severe accident that causes an injury resulting in your back pain, see your doctor immediately. You need to rule out the possibility of a severe problem like a fracture.
For more about back pain, call Eisman Chiropractic Clinic at (313) 395-0088 to reach our office in Detroit, Michigan.