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When Is Back Problem a Problem? 


Do you have back pain, especially in the lower back? Well, you are not alone. Most adults experience back pain at some point in their lives without having a serious injury. Back pain is not a serious problem as the pain tends to go away on its own after a few weeks. However, in some cases, pain is an indication that something is not right in your body.

Why Is Back Pain Common?

We have five vertebrae in the lower back that connect the spine and pelvis. These vertebrae bear a lot of pressure from the upper body. Plus, you need them when bending and lifting heavy objects. Because of the pressure and movement, the lower back gets a lot of wear and tear which leads to injuries and pain. Furthermore, the bones wear out as we age and this explains why we experience back pain as we get older.

What Are the Risks Factors of Back Pain?

Back pain is caused by injuries, trauma, and pressure on the lumbar region. However, several factors can increase the risk of back in some people such as:

  • Arthritis of the spine is the primary cause of back pain in older people. Our bones experience wear and tear and this can cause inflammation and back pain
  • Smoking raises inflammation in the body which impairs the body’s ability to heal itself naturally
  • Excess body weight exerts too much pressure on the spine which increases the risk of muscle and nerve injuries.
  • The level of physical activity can also affect your back. Both strenuous activities and a sedentary lifestyle can all cause back pain
  • Kidney problems
  • Cold weather can cause changes in pressure which in turn affects your spine and joints causing pain.

When to Call the Doctor?

Back pain can be a sign of exhaustion and a little rest can go a long way. However, if you have back pain accompanied with these red flags, then you need to ditch the remedies and visit ER in Harker Height for emergency treatment.

  1. Fever 

The cold and flu can cause back pain. But, if you have an unresponsive fever with back pain it could be an indication of infection of the spine. It is important to seek urgent care near you when the fever is persistent lasting for a couple of days.

Your doctor will assess your health to determine if you have a spine infection. If none is present, then medication and rest will suffice. However, make sure you don’t rest for more than 48 hours as this could make the back pain worse.

  1. Tingling and numbness 

A tingling sensation in your back is caused by irritation or damage to the nerves. Though it is tempting to take pain relievers, urgent care is recommended. Numbness in your lower back could be an indication of spinal stenosis or herniated disc that are cause nerve pressure and irritation. Prolonged nerve irritation could lead to disabilities.

  1. Trauma 

Trauma due to accidents or falls could cause fractures and a visit to an emergency room is crucial. Traumatic injury causes compression of the spine which can lead to the rupture of the intervertebral disc. Your doctor will do an x-ray to check for fractures and a proper treatment plan will be initiated. If no fractures are present, then they will recommend medication and physical therapy to ease the pain.

  1. Night pain 

If you have severe back pain at night, it could be a sign of disc degeneration, sprain, or tumor and therefore it shouldn’t be ignored. Visiting a doctor for a blood test and MRI diagnosis can help detect the cause of the pain.

Other red flags to watch out for include:

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Foot drop
  • Loss of bladder and bowel function
  • Suppressed immunity
  • Osteoporosis
  • Chronic steroid use

As aforementioned, 90 percent of back pain disappears within six weeks regardless of the severity. However, if the pain continues past six weeks, walk into a clinic near you for an evaluation.

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