Back pain is one of the most frequent physical complaints among adults. It’s also the leading cause of missed work in the U.S. Most back pain goes away on its own within a week or two, but if you have persistent severe back pain or pain that is accompanied by other symptoms, it may be time to see a specialist. Here we will learn when to see a specialist about back pain.

Signs Your Back Pain May Require Treatment

Rest, ice packs, and mild stretching are often enough to relieve back pain, but pain is the body’s way of telling you something is wrong. If you’re experiencing any of the following along with your back pain, make an appointment with a healthcare professional.

Numbness and Tingling

Numbness, burning, tingling, or pain that radiates into the buttocks and down one or both legs could be a symptom of spinal stenosis. 

Spinal stenosis is an orthopedic condition that causes the spinal canal to narrow and put pressure on the spinal nerves. Treatments for spinal stenosis include physical therapy, pain medication, surgery, and non-invasive regenerative medicine.

Incontinence

Experiencing urinary or bowel incontinence with back pain is a sign of a serious problem known as cauda equina syndrome. With this condition, the compression of a grouping of nerves — the cauda equina nerves — causes a loss of bowel or bladder control. Seek emergency medical help if you experience incontinence with back pain.

High Fever

A fever may indicate that your back pain is caused by an infection. Fever is a reaction of the immune system as it tries to combat harmful germs before they do severe damage. 

People with compromised immune systems or autoimmune diseases may have difficulty fighting off infection naturally. It’s possible that the two symptoms are unrelated, but fever with back pain could indicate an infection of the spine, a bladder or kidney infection, spinal cancer, shingles, or other conditions that require medical intervention.

Back Trauma

If you have taken a fall, been in a car accident, or experienced another type of trauma, your back pain could be caused by an undetected back injury. 

It’s normal to feel stiff or sore for the first 24-72 hours after a trauma, but if rest and over-the-counter pain medication aren’t enough to reduce your pain, you may have injured a muscle or have a small fracture in one of the bones in your back.

Don’t Ignore Pain

Don’t assume your back pain is “nothing” or that it will go away on its own. Back problems can turn into serious health issues if they’re not taken care of properly. If you have any of the above symptoms or pain that persists even though you’re taking care of yourself, pain management can ease your suffering. If you would like to learn more about pain management for back pain contact stemedix today and speak with a care coordinator.

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