Virtually everyone, especially adults, has had at least one case of back pain. It is quite common and may not be cause for alarm in many cases. Nonetheless, back pain Somerset with no apparent reason or lasting more than a week shouldn’t be overlooked. It could signify a developing or preexisting medical condition requiring prompt and thorough treatment to avoid significant issues. This is more so if the pain is characterized or accompanied by signs including:
Bladder or bowel movement problems
Back pain accompanied by difficulty controlling your bladder or no bowel movements is a worrying problem that prompts immediate care. It could indicate a spine tumor, but the cauda equine syndrome is the main culprit in most cases. The syndrome results when the lower spine nerves are paralyzed. If untreated, the nerves can be permanently damaged. If the pain and bladder/bowel control is accompanied by numbness in your legs, you may need treatments like surgery to decompress the nerves to preserve their function. Such can be avoided by seeking immediate attention when back pain challenges your bladder/bowel control, facilitating pressure alleviation before the nerves take considerable damage.
If you suddenly lose weight that is not a result of treatment, diet, or physical activity accompanied by back pain, you should seek medical attention. The pain could indicate a serious infection or tumor, necessitating immediate treatment.
Severe back pain accompanied by a fever should prompt you to seek urgent medical care. This is more so when the fever is unresponsive to medication. The pain and fever could signify inflammation or severe infection like a spinal epidural abscess, kidney infection, meningitis, or rhabdomyolysis. If such concerns are not treated in time, they could be fatal or result in disability.
Pain that worsens with posture or a certain time
If the back pain is aggravated by position, such as when you lie down, or at certain periods, like in the middle of the night, it could signify a systematic problem. It could be due to serious concerns like cancer, severe nerve compression, or fractures.
Pain accompanied by weakness, numbness, or tingling sensation
Back pain that is unresponsive to pain relievers and accompanied by weakness, numbness, and tingling sensation points to an irritated or damaged nerve. If left untreated, the nerve can be permanently damaged, resulting in disability.
Pain that extends to other parts
If back pain radiates to other parts, you should seek immediate attention. Sciatica is among the common problems in such cases. It is characterized by back pain radiating down the buttock, hip, and leg. Sciatica results from an inflamed or irritated sciatic nerve. The neve is often irritated by herniated or slipped discs. If untreated, the disc condition can worsen and require invasive treatment like removal and replacement. The nerve can also take serious damage, affecting your mobility and ability to manage your daily routine, significantly impacting your life quality.
Back pain is often overlooked since it is common and, in many cases, explainable. Nonetheless, when the pain is accompanied by other concerns, as highlighted above, you should see a pain specialist for a thorough diagnosis and prompt treatment. Contact University Pain and Spine Center today for more on back pain diagnosis and treatment options.