Lower back pain is common. It often develops as result of a minor injury or overuse – but sometimes it can be a symptom of something else going on. If you are subject to lower back pain, you may wonder if it is something serious. How can you tell if your back pain is something to worry about?
Before reading on, know that this article is not intended to replace medical advice from a licensed healthcare provider. It is just meant to serve as a base so you have a better understanding of lower back pain and what to expect when getting help.
Bad Back Pain is Rarely the Scariest
Let’s lead off with the fact that many people worry that their excruciating back pain is the result of some sort of impending doom or major illness. But the truth is, pain intensity is not a great indicator of back pain ominousness. Some back pain causes that are especially worrisome (such as cancer) are actually least painful (specifically in the earlier stages). On the other hand, a person could be experiencing symptoms of cauda equinae syndrome, which can lead to permanent spinal injury, but have little to no pain. Muscle cramps can cause extreme back pain on the other hand.
However, this isn’t always the case. Regardless of the potential cause of your back pain, if you would describe your back pain as serious back pain, it is wise to see your doctor or chiropractor.
When Lower Back Pain is Serious
Setting the severity of your back pain aside, if your lower back pain sticks around longer than 1 to 2 weeks, you should see your doctor or chiropractor in Tucker, GA. Chances are it is not a medical emergency, but seeking medical help is a wise step so you can get an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment. Treatment plans typically address symptoms as well as any underlying conditions that cause them.
Three Lower Back Pain Symptoms You Should Not Ignore
There are three scenarios of back pain that could indicate medical emergency. The presence of either of these symptoms does not mean something terrible is wrong but it is vital that you make sure:
- Numbness around the groin or buttocks area in a “saddle” pattern and/or incontinence (difficulty keeping your urine or bowel movements in).
- An accident with forces that could have fractured your spine suddenly.
- High fever
Numbness in the groin and/or bladder or bowel control failure could indicate spinal cord injury or compression, requiring urgent medical attention.
If you have been in an accident that could have hurt your spine, you should also pursue immediate medical attention. This could be from an auto accident, sports injury, fall or anything else that causes sudden lower back pain.
A high fever could point to a bacterial infection, such as meningitis.
When Your Back Pain is Not Severe
If your lower back pain is determined to not be an urgent matter, you may benefit for seeking chiropractic treatment to alleviate your back pain symptoms and to better your prognosis for future back pain events. Reach out to your chiropractor today for an evaluation.