Most people have suffered back pain at some point in life. In fact, back pain is the leading reason for instability worldwide, and one of the most common reasons people miss work. Back pain could manifest differently, ranging from an occasional dull aching to intense pain that persists for weeks. Based on the severity of the back pain Great Neck, you could try numerous at-home procedures, including massage, ice, heat therapy, and more. However, how can you determine it is time to stop at-home therapy and visit a specialist? Here are some of the signs and symptoms to watch out for.
1. Nighttime Pain
For some individuals, lying in bed worsens back pain, regardless of the sleeping posture. Some people might not experience back pain till they get to bed. Though nighttime back pain could stem from various conditions like scoliosis or sprains, it could also be because of something serious like a fracture, spinal tumor, nerve compression, or infection. You should always consider a doctor’s appointment for any concern that affects your sleep.
2. Numbness, Tingling, or Weakness
You might have nerve irritation or damage if you have back pain accompanied by numbness, tingling, or weakness. You should consult a physician for nerve pain if the discomfort persists, particularly if over-the-counter pain medications do not help. If left untreated, nerve pain could result in permanent damage.
Back pain accompanied by a fever could signal an infection. Typical spinal infections include meningitis, a spinal epidural abscess, or vertebral osteomyelitis. Spinal infections demand prompt care. Otherwise, you risk more severe, even life-threatening complications.
4. Inexplicable Weight Loss
Inexplicable weight loss accompanied by back pain could signal something more severe. For instance, back pain and weight loss are common signs of endocarditis. Endocarditis is characterized by swelling of one’s heart’s inner lining. Although rare, should this condition develop, it demands immediate care. Back pain associated with weight loss could also signal cancer, specifically a spinal tumor.
5. Chronic Pain
If you have struggled with back pain for over a week, you should consult a specialist. Your provider can offer therapy to manage your symptoms and prevent the pain from spiraling into something more severe.
6. Severe pain
If your back pain is intense, particularly if the discomfort does not resolve with rest or worsens with time, you should consult a specialist. Similarly, if you have back pain that radiates down the leg, you might have a damaged disc that requires emergency care.
7. Bladder or Bowel Control Issues
Serious low back pain accompanied by incontinence could demonstrate a rare, but severe disorder known as cauda equina syndrome. This condition develops once the nerve roots at the foot of the spinal cord get compressed, impacting sensory and motor functioning.
Cauda equina syndrome might result from a huge herniated disc in your lumbar region, as well as issues like a spinal lesion or tumor, serious trauma, or infection. This issue is regarded as a medical emergency, as it could result in permanent paralysis if not addressed.
Although back pain resolves by itself and does not signify anything serious, in some instances, it requires a specialist’s assessment. Unfortunately, your back comprises the spine, muscles, nerves, and tendons, so it could be difficult to determine what triggers the pain yourself. If you do not know the root cause of the pain, you will not recognize how to address it. However, by visiting a back pain specialist, your provider can perform a comprehensive diagnosis and develop a tailored care plan to address your unique concerns.