No one should have to live with pain. Yet, back pain is a common issue that crops up in many people from time to time, causing most to ignore it. After all, this issue often resolves on its own after a couple of weeks. However, if you’ve been suffering from back pain for a long time, it may be time to go to the doctor.
The spine is a complicated and important piece of your body’s underlying support system. Made up of 24 bones, bundles of nerves, ligaments and muscles, there are a variety of issues that can crop up causing you intense back pain. Millions of people go to the doctor every year for back-related conditions. Even if you’re hoping your back pain will get better on its own, there are symptoms that indicate a more serious complication.
In this post, we will point out some warning signs to look out for, so you know when it’s time to see a doctor for your back pain.
Back Pain Accompanied by Fever
If you’ve got a fever over 101 degrees, you may think it’s just the flu. However, if you’ve also experienced back pain and your fever seems unresponsive to any treatment, a serious infection could be the culprit. It’s a good idea to visit your primary care physician to get to the bottom of these symptoms. Antibiotics plus a few days of rest may be all you need to feel right again.
Nighttime Back Pain
When your head hits the pillow, you’re expecting a good night’s rest. However, if you experience back pain that wakes you up at night, there could be an underlying back issue that needs a doctor’s attention. Nighttime back pain could indicate disc degeneration, a sprain or something more serious. So, contact a spine specialist if back pain is keeping you from a restful night’s sleep.
Tingling, Numbness or Weakness in Your Arms or Legs
If you notice tingling or numbness that doesn’t go away, these symptoms along with weakness in your arms or legs could point to nerve irritation or damage in your spine. Herniated discs and spinal stenosis can put undue pressure on your spinal nerves causing a pins-and-needles sensation. When left untreated, these conditions can lead to prolonged or permanent disabilities. Tell your doctor right away if you notice any of these symptoms.
There are many things you can do to treat back pain — over-the-counter pain medication, applying ice or heat and even rest. However, if it’s been two to six weeks and nothing you do seems to help your back pain, there may be an underlying issue that needs to be addressed by a physician.
Chronic back pain can keep you from performing your normal, daily activities. Visiting a spinal specialist will help you to understand the cause of your pain and allow you to work out a treatment plan together.
Loss of Bladder or Bowel Function
Although rare, if your back pain makes it difficult to control your bladder or bowels, this could indicate a medical emergency that requires immediate attention from a physician. If you experience numbness or weakness in your hips, this is another factor your doctor will want to know about.
Allow the Specialists at Spine Institute of North America to Treat Your Back Pain
If your backaches and pains become more intense or you experience any of the above symptoms, then it’s time to make an appointment with the spine specialists at Spine Institute of North America. We offer an honest and compassionate environment where you can get the treatment you need to effectively address your back pain and accompanying symptoms.
We specialize in the least invasive procedures with shorter recovery periods so that you can go back to living your life free from pain as soon as possible. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.