Starting to experience lower back pain but not sure what to do? Learn when to worry about low back pain and when to not.
If you notice a decline in your overall health, it is always best to consult a medical professional early on in the event that is serious, you can obtain treatment quickly.
Your back has been hurting for weeks now and you’re starting to worry what to do about it. The pain caused by low back pain can almost always make it seem way worse than it actually is. Fortunately, most back pain will go away over time and there are some easy steps you can take at home to reduce the inflammation.
But what if the pain doesn’t go away or even gets worse? How do you know when to be concerned about lower back pain? The following list will be helpfully when deciding whether to seek medical attention for your back pain or not.
Q: When do I need to worry about low back pain?
A: First things first, don’t medically investigate back pain until it has met the minimum criteria:
- The back pain has been bothering you for about six weeks or more.
- The back pain is severe and not improving, or getting worse
- There is at least one of more ‘red flags’
‘Red flags’ being: over the age of 55 or under 20, fever, painful tapping, weight loss, numbness, tingling and/or weakness.
Having one or more of the above conditions is a good indicator that now is a good time to consult a medical professional.
Q: Is back pain treatable?
A: Less than 1% of back pain is ominous, and even then it’s often treatable. The other 99% is easily treatable and preventable. If your pain is the result of an automobile accident or a fall, it may be a good idea to seek treatment from a professional.
Q:What are the odds that my back pain is actually something ominous?
A: This is rare, very rare. As mentioned, it is usually less than 1% but there are cases of low back pain that have alarming causes like warning sign of cancer, infection, autoimmune disease and some other potentially serious conditions.
Q: How can I tell if something serious is causing my back pain?
A: If you are notice a decline in your overall health, it is always best to consult a medical professional early on in the event that is serious, you can obtain treatment quickly. While a doctor’s visit can be stressful, at least you will get peace of mind about your symptoms.
Q: What causes ominous back pain?
A: These are NOT common and have serious symptoms:
|what is it?||major features|
|cancer||a tumor in or near the spine||Many kinds of cancer can cause many kinds of back pain, but some strong themes are: the pain grows steadily and is mostly unaffected by position and activity, worse with weight bearing and at night, and comes with other signs of being unwell.|
|cauda equina syndrome||pinching of the lowest part of the spinal cord||Hard to mistake for anything else: hard to pee, fecal incontinence, numb groin, weak legs. Caused by ruptured discs, trauma, cancer, infection.|
|spinal infection||infection in or near spinal structures||Hard to detect, often for a long time. Usually there’s a well-defined tender spot and then, eventually, deep constant pain, a rigid spine, sometimes fever and illness but not always.|
|abdominal aneurysm||ballooning of a large artery next to the spine||Pain may throb in sync with pulse. Mostly occcurs in people at risk of heart disease: older, heavier, hypertensive smokers and diabetes patients.|
|ankylosing spondylitis||inflammatory arthritis of spine and pelvis, mostly||Long term back pain starting well before middle age and progressing slowly and erratically, improves with activity but not rest, prolongued morning stiffness, possible involvement of other areas. More common in men.|
Source: Pain Science
It’s important to remember that these conditions are very rare. So while your back pain may temporarily make sleeping difficult, more often that it’s not something that is worth losing sleep over. In most cases back pain can be reduced with easy at home exercises or reduced with products like BackShield that provide lower back support. However, if you have other red flags, are experiencing numbness or weakness, please consult a medical professional as soon as possible. Otherwise, rest, exercise and good posture will help speed up the healing process so you don’t have to worry about low back pain forever.