Stress or More? When to See the Doctor for Lower Back Pain

Look, we all know how much of a toll stress can take on our body, and we’re sure that you’ve experienced pain and other physical symptoms associated with stress. You may not even know what you’re stressing out about, but your body decides to fight back and hurt. Back pain is a common symptom of stress. Some people may carry their tension in their upper back and feel like their muscles are riddled with knots. Others may find that stress causes their lower back to tighten up and be more susceptible to injury and further pain. No one experiences stress symptoms in quite the same way. This makes it exceptionally hard to separate pain caused by stress from pain caused by a more dangerous or pressing problem. So how do you identify when you need to see a specialist for lower back pain? The following blog covers many of the signs that you need to see a doctor and stop choking your back pain up to stress.

Concerning Symptoms

If your back hurts, it’s easy to chock it up to muscle strain, stress, or a pinched nerve, but sometimes back pain can be more than just that. Whether it’s a herniated disc or even an infection, such as meningitis, there are more problematic issues that easily go hand in hand with back pain. You should never wait to see a doctor if your back pain is causing you such severe pain that you can’t get out of bed or off the floor. That’s the first sign you need some help. However, if you experience any of the following symptoms with persistent back pain, you’ll want to see a doctor right away:

  • Severe Abdominal Pain
  • Fever of an Unknown Origin
  • Bowel or Bladder Incontinence
  • Loss of Sensation in Your Legs

Any of these symptoms could be signs of dangerous or even life-threatening conditions that shouldn’t be ignored. Neck or back pain with a fever tend to be early signs of meningitis, and any loss of feeling in your extremities can easily be more than a pinched nerve, and lead to complicated nerve damage. Turn to your medical professionals for help!

What’s Addressed in an Exam for Back Pain?

If you have been having persistent back pain, a specialist will perform an in-office exam before ordering imagery or jumping to a diagnosis. This will help to identify potential problems and hopefully lead your specialist down the correct path for your treatment and pain management plan.

There are some specific questions you can expect to be asked whenever you see a doctor about back pain:

  • Where does it hurt?
  • Is there radiating pain and where?
  • Are you experiencing leg pain?
  • Does anything help your pain?
  • Does anything make your pain worse?
  • Do you have a history of back pain?

Along with these questions, you can also expect a thorough exam in order to try and identify the exact point of pain. You’ll probably be impressed at how quickly a specialist can isolate the point of pain when it comes to having back or joint pain. If the exam is inconclusive, imagery will probably be order, such as x-rays or an MRI, in order to provide further information as to the cause of your pain.

With Americans constantly fighting high-stress jobs, demanding home lives, and plenty of other daily concerns, it’s no surprise that stress can cause pain. But it’s not the only possibility. Don’t always assume you’re just experiencing stress, and instead talk with your doctor. Even if it’s just stress, there are plenty of techniques you can use to help you feel better. And if it’s more than just pain from stress, there are treatment options for you too! Call the SPine Institute of North American today to get help with your persistent back pain for the best.

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