When to See a Specialist About Back Pain

If you have back pain, you’re not alone. Estimates suggest that back pain is the leading cause of missed work days in the United States.

Back pain often goes away on its own within a couple weeks, but if your pain lasts longer than this, is severe, or is associated with other symptoms, you may benefit from medical attention. 

In this blog, Bonaventure Ngu, MD, of Premier Spine Institute in The Woodlands, Humble, and Baytown, Texas, explains when you should see a doctor because of back pain.

High fever 

When an invader attacks the body, the body’s immune system kicks into action, which can lead to a fever. A rise in temperature can help the body destroy harmful germs before they can cause harm. If your back pain is associated with a fever, this could be a sign of an infection. 

In most cases, fevers are beneficial, and they can help the body fight germs without the need for medications. However, if your body temperature is too high, you should seek medical attention. A temperature of 103°F and above is normally considered too high.

Most healthy individuals are able to fight off mild to moderate infections by themselves, but people with a dysfunctional immune system may need antibiotics and medical attention. 

Back trauma 

If you suffer trauma, such as from a car crash or fall, you may fracture a bone in your back or injure muscles. If you injure your back due to a crash of fall, you should get examined by a physician to check for damage and get treatment, if needed.

Back fractures, depending on how severe they are, are usually treated with pain medication, rest, and bracing. In some cases, surgery may be needed. You can improve your chances of not developing fractures by getting plenty of calcium, Vitamin D and vitamin K2. 

Urinary and fecal incontinence 

If your back pain is associated with bowel or bladder movements, you may be suffering from cauda equina syndrome. This condition occurs due to the compression of the cauda equina nerves, which is a group of nerves located at the end of the spinal cord. This condition is usually considered a medical emergency, and it normally requires surgery to treat. Left untreated, it may lead to paralysis in the lower half of the body. 

Numbness and tingling 

Radiating pain associated with numbness and tingling in the buttocks and legs could be a sign of spinal stenosis. This is a condition in which the spinal canal narrows, which then puts pressure on nearby nerves. Treatments for spinal stenosis include pain medication, physical therapy, and, in severe cases, surgery.

If you have back pain, we can help you get relief. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Premier Spine Institute today.

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