Back pain is the fifth most common reason that makes people visit the doctor’s office. Interestingly, the most serious causes of a backache which should warrant a trip to the hospital rarely cause that much pain. And a lot of common problems like slipped discs are largely ignored.
Always remember the three criteria rule. You should never medically treat back pain unless it meets the following three things:
- It has been aching for over 6 weeks.
- There is one other red flag which is getting you worried
- The pain is gradually getting worse
It is important to remember that red flags do not mean that something terrible is happening to your body, but that you might want to take a medical consultation. Once the pain subsides, it’s not directly a sign that the main problem has gone too, but it is definitely an improvement and a start in the healing process.
X-ray and MRI are almost always surprisingly unreliable. This is because issues like bulging discs are never really a big deal and cannot be easily detected. Most of the pain disappears on its own. However, the trigger points or muscle knots are common and can be alarmingly intense, but they are not that dangerous. You will definitely feel a lot better when you are a little more confident that way every small development won’t feel like an automatic red flag related to the problem with your back. Unfortunately, a lot of healthcare professionals like to talk about our backs as fragile pieces. These undermine our valuable confidence.
There are cases regarding the lower back pain with alarming causes, but these are not as frequent as people like to believe. Remember that your quality of life depends on your spinal health. It is important to distinguish between what is worrisome and what is not so that we may take the right measures for the serious ailments. For example, backaches that are an early sign of cancer, infection, or autoimmune disease?
When you go beyond the age of 55 every one in twenty cases usually turns out to be a fracture, from there every one in a hundred turns out to be ominous. But how can one truly tell from one ache to another?
At first, you might feel tight and achy from the flu, but remember that an unresponsive fever coupled with back pain can be a sign of a serious infection.
Here is what you should expect at the physician’s office. The doctor will either rule out infection or prescribe you antibiotics. When it’s not an infection, you should understand that to relieve the pain you need rest. Remember do not overdo it. It may actually make it worse.
If you have undergone serious trauma like if you have been in a car accident or you fell from a height, or if it’s a minor trauma but you are near the age of 55, you should definitely take it to the doctor. Fractures can be caused even when you fall down a few steps. Your doctor will take an x-ray to look for fractures if none are found you may manage your pain with medication and later take time to recover with physical therapy.
Numbness or a Tingling Sensation
Most people assume that they can get rid of the tingling feeling or the numbness with over-the-counter meds. The fact is these symptoms indicate nerve irritation or damage that is more significant that it should cause your average backache. When you find that the tingling or the pins and needles feeling does not go away it should be alarming. These could be things like spinal stenosis, herniated discs, or even nerve pressure. The reason this is the most serious problem of them all is that when left untreated it can lead to prolonged damage, nerve irritation, and ultimately permanent disabilities.
Loss of Bladder Function and Irregularity
When your backache is accompanied by a loss of bladder function or bowel function should be immediately checked. It could be caused by Cauda Equina Syndrome where the roots of the lower end of the body have undergone compression. Other symptoms may develop in time as well, like weakness or numbness in legs.