If your back pain lasts longer than two weeks and prevents you from participating in normal daily activities, see your family doctor. If the pain is severe, you should consult a doctor beforehand. Most back pain will go away after a few days, but if you've been feeling pain for more than a week, then it's time to call a doctor. The doctor will perform any necessary tests or tests to help get to the bottom of the pain before it becomes a major problem.
As with many health problems, prevention and early treatment of problems are essential. If you've experienced serious trauma, such as a fall from a height or a car accident, or if you've suffered relatively minor trauma and you're over 50, your doctor will want to take a serious look at your back pain. Even falling a few steps when you're older can cause a fracture. Back pain along with loss of bowel or bladder control can be a telltale sign of a rare but serious condition called horsetail syndrome, in which the nerve roots at the lower end of the spinal cord have experienced some form of compression and become paralyzed.
This can occur as a result of a herniated disc, fracture, tumor, spinal stenosis, or trauma to the spine. Symptoms may develop over time and also include numbness and weakness in the legs. Cauda equina syndrome is a medical emergency and requires immediate attention. A medical history of cancer, depressed immune system, osteoporosis, or chronic steroid use.
A doctor can provide treatment to relieve symptoms and prevent back pain from becoming serious. You should go to the doctor for nerve pain if it persists, especially if over-the-counter pain relievers don't help. When you have unexpected and unexplained weight loss, your doctor may want to rule out infections and tumors as possible causes of back pain. A doctor who specializes in diseases of the spine can determine the cause of the pain and initiate effective treatment.
Similarly, if you experience back pain that goes down your leg, you may have a damaged disc and have it evaluated by a doctor. Even if you don't have any of the above symptoms, but experience back discomfort that disrupts your life, you should go to the doctor. Your doctor will likely recommend nonsurgical treatments for back pain before surgical options, unless you have a serious condition. Through this program, you'll consult with a doctor or physical therapist who specializes in spinal care and chronic pain.
While most back pain resolves on its own and isn't a sign of something serious, in some cases a doctor should look at it. Even so, back pain can be debilitating and some patients need the help of a doctor to cope with the pain or treat the problem with surgical or non-surgical techniques. If you experience severe back pain that combines with pain in other areas, such as shooting pain in the leg, you should see a doctor. Because 90% of back pain cases improve within six weeks, the doctor will want to investigate the most serious underlying causes if the pain remains severe after so long.
If the pain is severe or constant, lasts more than two weeks, prevents you from participating in your usual activities, or interrupts your sleep, see a doctor. The doctor may also suggest surgery to treat bone spurs, a spinal infection, a fracture, a tumor, or a degenerative condition of the spine that is causing problematic symptoms.