Pain in any part of your body is potentially a sign that there is something wrong with your body. Of course, in many cases the pain is due to trauma or unusual exercise.
Pain that doesn’t go away within a few days should always be treated by a doctor, especially if you’re not aware of what has caused it. In fact, it’s best to see a neck and brain surgeon as they have specialist training in these parts of your body.
However, when you get back pain it can be particularly concerning as your spine is one of the most important parts of your body. As well as supporting your body it offers protection to all your nerves.
Unfortunately, many people lead sedentary lifestyles and this means that back pain is an increasingly common issue. If you’re experiencing it and are concerned about whether it is serious or not then you need to know the following.
Defining Serious Back Pain
It can be difficult to decide what classifies as serious back pain. After all, different people have different pain tolerance levels. However, in general, if the pain is severe enough to make you go to the doctor then you may have a serious issue.
A doctor will diagnose the issue for you, it is worth visiting.
Pain That Doesn’t Go Away
Pain that lasts longer than a week or two means a visit to a medical professional is essential. That doesn’t mean you have a serious issue but you do need to find out more.
But, if you have any of the following symptoms it’s important to seek emergency medical aid:
- Weakness in your legs
- Severe stomach pain
- High fever
- Loss of bladder control
The good news is that most cases of back pain are not anything to worry about. Although strained muscles, herniated discs, and even bulging discs can be extremely painful they will either resolve themselves or can be treated by the doctor.
However, there are rarer times when severe lower back pain means you have cancer, autoimmune disease, or even a severe infection.
If you have a lump at the bottom of your spine and the pain grows steadily stronger, it may also be worse at night or when bearing weight.
Cuda Equina Syndrome
This is when the lowest part of your spine is being pinched, you’ll suffer from fecal incontinence, find it hard to pee, have weak legs, and a numb groin. It’s usually part of a bigger issue, such as trauma, infection, or even cancer.
If you have pain that feels like it’s deep under your skin near the base of your spine and an obvious tender spot then you may have an infection. It can take time for all the symptoms to appear but you’ll also start to notice your spine is becoming rigid.
An infection can also cause fever and needs to be treated with antibiotics.
The most obvious symptom of this, other than the pain, is that the pain may throb in sync with your pulse. This is a common issue with people at risk of heart disease, smokers, and diabetics.