The human body is heavy, and there is nothing you can do about that – no matter how many hours you work out in the gym. The back structure carries the whole body 24 hours 7 days in the week. If we don’t sleep in a proper position, back can’t recover fully and stress overwhelms it. The result is back pain. We usually experience back pain from an early age – a school with heavy backpacks, too many walks in the park, etc. However, we still fear that some more serious issue lies as a cause. The data shows that only 1% of patients who complain from back pain have more serious issues. Of course, if you check your symptoms online, you will find that you have at least 3 fatal health conditions. The chance this is true is under 1%.
When I should look for help?
Most people don’t know when pain is too much and when they should seek help. We gathered red flags of back pain if you have one of them better consult with a doctor instead of wait to get worse.
- Your age is 50 or more/20 or less;
- You feel back pain for more than a month without improving;
- Increasing pain and you can’t stand, sit or lie down;
- You have a higher temperature;
- Don’t feel your legs;
- Troubles with urination or blood in the urine;
- You experience back pain at night only.
If you have one of these things don’t panic and seek professional help. Have in mind that they don’t mean that you have a fatal health condition, they mean you have to pay more attention and find out the cause. Trust your doctor and explain him in details what you feel and where exactly. There is a chance to feel pain in the back but kidney infection to cause it so don’t neglect detailed explanations.
The scariest scenario with back pain
Cancer in the spine or near the spine affecting back nerves – the pain is not increasing. The level of pain is steady and the body position doesn’t influence it. Cauda equina syndrome is a serious health condition which makes a patient’s legs weak. It is easy for detection because the patient complains from difficulties while peeing. Spinal infection is the next scary health condition. The patient might or might not have a higher temperature so the diagnose is hard to place. An abdominal aneurysm is a special condition, which often appears in overweight people with diabetes.
If you experience incontinence, then you have an emergency and you have to call your doctor or a medical team as soon as possible. Another emergency situation is every accident where your spine might be affected – car crash, falling, etc.
Back pain can be symmetrical or in the one side only. In fact, most structures and body organs are symmetrical but this doesn’t mean that you will feel pain in both of them. Sometimes, people mistake abdominal pain with lower back pain after a heavy work out. Sometimes, people mistake kidney pain or Appendix pain or even Pancreas pain.
Herniated disk causes back pain
A Herniated disk in the spine might suppress nerves. The result is that nerves send brain signal for pain, and we can’t go on with other daily activities properly. Coughing becomes almost impossible. Fortunately, modern medicine has treatments that will save us from the pain and discomfort. However, people who are predisposed to herniated disks should not exercise too heavily.
What types of tests exist for back pain
If you complain from back pain to your doctor, the chance he sends you to physiotherapy is a big one. If the pain is severe, he might insist on MRI scanning. MRI will show if there are some damages and how bad are they. MRI shows soft-tissue damage so the doctor might require an additional test with X-ray. Unfortunately, both tests can’t show muscle damage so electromyogram might be needed also. However, your doctor will explain to you in details what type of tests you should make and will discuss with you a suitable treatment. The only one thing that can’t be measured is pain level so have in mind that you shouldn’t exaggerate or devalue it.