If you have chronic back pain, the discomfort can be difficult to ignore. This is because these sensations are your body’s way of telling you that it needs care or healing. The following types of back pain should not be overlooked. Instead, call a doctor for advice. With a proactive approach to your symptoms, you can find a reliable solution to help treat your back pain and enjoy a better quality of life.
1. Pain After an Accident
One type of back pain is felt after a fall, a car accident, or a sports injury. If you experience trauma and feel aching or discomfort, it is important to see a doctor right away. These events can cause a spectrum of issues for your health, says WebMD. This includes everything from minor muscle strains and spasms to fractures and spinal cord damage.
If you are in severe pain, cannot move your legs, or are experiencing numbness in your back or limbs, call 911 or seek emergency medical attention. Tension, nerve irritation, or other minor pain in your upper or lower back should receive an evaluation by a professional as soon as possible. The quicker you see someone for your symptoms, the faster you will be on your way to less pain and improved health. You will also rule out any serious problems with your legs or back.
2. Pain Lasting for Weeks
When you suffer a minor back injury from heavy lifting or working out too much, it is possible to feel discomfort for several days. Possible causes include sore ligaments, muscles, and tendons caused by overuse. Certain treatments may help to relieve pain while the injury heals, including cold therapy, heat therapy, and laser therapy for back pain. If you notice your symptoms subside with an at-home regimen, repeat it whenever you experience soreness or tightness.
If you are experiencing discomfort for weeks, however, you should receive an evaluation by a doctor. Chronic pain that lasts is a possible sign of a ruptured disc, bulging disc, or another health condition. Lower back pain that keeps returning could result from degenerative conditions such as arthritis, spondylosis, or intervertebral disc degeneration.
3. Pain Causing Bladder Problems
In rare cases, back conditions can lead to bladder problems. According to Medical News Today, possible causes include spinal tumors, injuries to the spine, and a buildup of blood in the epidural space of the spine. You could also experience incontinence if you have an abscess or pocket of pus in the spaces around the spinal cord.
For those who have both back pain and bladder problems, make an appointment with your family physician. Most general practioners will be able to review your symptoms to determine if your pain is causing the incontinence or you have two separate conditions. Pregnancy, obesity, and fibromyalgia are just a few causes of back pain that may happen at the same time as unrelated trouble with the bladder.
4. Pain with Fever
When you have back pain and fever together, says Healthline, seek emergency care. This combination can be a sign of a harmful or life-threatening medical condition. One of these includes meningitis, an infection of the tissues surrounding the brain and spinal cord that often begins with symptoms like high fever and pain in the upper back and neck. Encephalitis, which is characterized by inflammation of the brain tissue, often includes neck stiffness and flu-like symptoms such as fever.
Your evaluation will involve a physical exam and a review of your medical history. The doctor will ask you how long you have had pain and fever if you are experiencing additional symptoms, and if you are able to do normal physical tasks like standing and walking. You may also receive a neurological exam, blood tests, and imaging tests such as a CT scan or an MRI scan to rule out certain conditions.
Caring for All Types of Back Pain
Some types of back pain require conservative treatment to relieve uncomfortable symptoms. Therapies such as photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT), sometimes referred to as low-level light therapy or LLLT, are gaining traction. PBMT can help to modulate pain and inflammation, which can help to make you more comfortable and discourage further pain. Best of all, no side effects have been reported—and you do not need to take medications or undergo a surgical procedure to receive its benefits.
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When your pain requires more attention, do not hesitate to consult with your primary care physician or a specialist. They can rule out a serious health issue and provide you with a customized care plan to get you back on track. By researching your symptoms and learning more about conservative therapies, you can feel better faster than ever.