Back pain is a common ailment that many different problems can cause. However, when do you know if that pain indicates something more serious. This article explores common back pain symptoms and recognizes when it is something more.
How do I know what the pain in my back is telling me?
If you're having back pain, it's essential to note when and where this pain occurs and how long it lasts. Back pain that comes on suddenly and lasts only for a day or two may indicate muscle strain or pulled ligament or tendon, which often happens during strenuous exercise such as weightlifting.
Breakthrough back pain (pain that occurs despite back pain medication) can happen to anyone who has been taking back-pain medications continuously over time. Back muscles get used to the pharmaceutical, and any additional stress causes them to cramp back up.
Common Spinal Issues Indicators
The length of time is one of the leading indicators the pain in your back may be signifying something more serious. If back pain persists for longer than two weeks or after pain medications have been tried, you may be suffering from another cause such as arthritis, herniated disc, spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal), and osteoporosis (bone thinning).
If back pain is accompanied by numbness or tingling in your leg or weakness in your leg or foot, this might indicate nerve compression and requires immediate medical care.
Symptoms And Treatments
Symptoms of back problems can include any one or more of the following:
- Muscle spasms or sprain
- Back strain
- Injury from a fall or similar accident
- Pain that radiates down your leg and foot (in the case of nerve compression)
- Back stiffness
Treatment for back problems can include:
- Physical therapy to strengthen back muscles and improve flexibility
- Medications that relieve inflammation and pain
- Epidural injections at the back to take pressure off nerve roots in the lower back
- Surgery in extreme cases, which might involve removing part of a bulging disc
- Spinal fusions (which can be very effective) or even artificial discs
How do I avoid having back problems?
Genetics plays a prominent role in whether you will have spinal issues or not, but there are many things you can do to avoid them. Maintaining good spinal health includes:
- Maintaining proper posture at all times.
- Avoid prolonged sitting or standing.
- Losing excess weight if necessary by eating healthy and exercising regularly.
If you work at a desk job, it's essential to take frequent stretch breaks and even back massages if possible. It's also necessary to keep up with back-pain medication. It can help back muscles stay relaxed and support them during strenuous activities like weightlifting or other heavy activities.
How long should I wait until seeing a spinal specialist?
If back pain has persisted for longer than two weeks or is accompanied by any one of the following symptoms:
- Back pain radiates down your leg and, or foot (in the case of nerve compression)
- Pain persists after medications; you might consider seeing a spinal specialist because these symptoms indicate back problems that you should discuss with your doctor.
NS2 NewSouth NeuroSpine Can Help If Your Back Pain Persists
NewSouth NeuroSpine professional staff is ready to assist you with any questions or appointments to evaluate and treat what may be affecting your back. We also have the capacity for after care if you are in need of a procedure that requires physical therapy. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call and set up an appointment.