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A lot of people ask, “Should I be worried about back pain? I’ve got this nasty (X type of pain) in (X location) and I’m concerned that it’s serious.”
Let’s get one thing straight: back pain is ALWAYS something to take seriously!
Your spinal column supports your entire body. Every single movement involves your spine to some degree. If there is pain, it’s a sign that something is wrong with your muscles, nerves, bones, or joints.
The answer to “Should I be worried about back pain?” is always going to be a resounding “Yes!”
How worried to be, well that depends on the type of back pain, its location, severity, and how long it has persisted. Read on to learn when it’s time to take that back pain to your doctor.
Should I Be Worried About Back Pain?
Pain, and particularly back pain, comes in a surprising number of forms. Sometimes it’s an acute stabbing or sharp pain, while other times it’s a low, dull, throbbing sort of chronic pain.
Pain in any of its forms are your body’s way of saying, “Hey, pay attention because something is wrong here!” When there is pain, you should always be concerned and try to figure out what’s causing the pain.
The seriousness of your back pain will vary depending on what’s causing it. For example, an injury like a herniated disc will trigger acute pain that can sometimes be very intense. However, that pain may subside within a day or two as your body makes repairs to the immediate problem. Chronic pain, such as that caused by degenerative disease, will be a much more moderate type of pain, more ache than stabbing or shooting pain, but will grow worse over time.
The first thing to do is always evaluate the type of pain. Second, evaluate how long the pain has lasted. If it’s just a few hours or a day or so, you can probably get through it with a painkiller and some bed rest. However, if the pain persists beyond a day, you should seriously consider seeing a doctor.
For NEW pains, it’s always a good idea to visit a doctor if the pain persists for 5-7 days. Minor injuries will typically heal within that time, so any persisting pain is likely something a bit more serious. Visiting your doctor or chiropractor can help you get a diagnosis and treatment of whatever is causing the pain.
How can you know if your back pain is serious? Here are some pretty clear signs:
Radiating pain – This will typically start in your lower back but radiate outward to move down your glutes, possibly even to your legs. The pain will actually shoot through your glutes and legs with every throb or twinge. This is often caused by nerve compression (from injury or medical condition). The pain will not diminish until the pressure is alleviated.
Sharp pains – Any pain that is sharp will typically indicate an acute injury. In your lower back, that usually means a torn ligament or muscle. However, sometimes the back pain can be caused by your organs—such as your kidneys when you have kidney stones.
Numbness or pins and needles – This sensation is less common in your lower back, but it actually typically occurs in your glutes and/or groin. It’s known as “saddle anesthesia” and can be very serious. It’s often indicative of a spinal or nerve condition that should be treated.
Incontinence – If you experience back pain AND an inability to control your bladder and/or bowels, then you could be at risk of spine infection (like meningitis or discitis) or a more serious nerve compression that is stopping your nervous system from sending electrical signals to your bowel/bladder muscles.
Limb weakness – Sciatica and spinal stenosis can compress the nerves in your spine and cause weakness in your legs. However, if there is sudden leg weakness, it could also indicate the presence of a stroke.
Fever – If your back pain is accompanied by fever, it could be a more serious problem. Sometimes, lower back aches are caused by the flu or some illness that is triggering your fever, but if both pain and fever persist, it’s possibly a more serious infection located in your spine.
All of these signs are very clear and very serious, and they’re all indications that you need to get yourself to a doctor ASAP!
The truth is that the majority of back pains you’ll experience in your life will be less-than-severe. A lot of people suffer back injuries from exercise, sports, weightlifting, or trauma/accidents. Many of those injuries cause minor pain but are fairly easy to treat with rest, proper exercise and stretching, and good support.
However, with your back, it’s always worth being extra cautious and taking special care of your spine, back muscles, joints, and nerves. If you feel more than just a minor twinge, it’s a good idea to take it seriously. As I’ve learned over decades of suffering through back pain, an ounce of prevention saves you from years of misery!
Should I Be Worried About Back Pain? Not with the Back on Track System!
Back pain can seriously impact and interfere with your life! The more pain you feel, the harder it is to enjoy life and all the activities and exercises you’re accustomed to doing.
But that’s where our Back on Track System comes into play. This system is created for people just like you, those who are concerned about their back pain and want to take the right steps to strengthen their back and stave off pain so they can get on with living life on their terms.
Visit this page to read over my story, see how the Back on Track System helped me, and how it changed my life for the better. With its help, the answer to “Should I be worried about back pain?” will always be “Not when I’ve got it handled thanks to Back on Track!”
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