Is Your Back Pain Serious? How to Tell and What to Do

It's not always easy to tell if your back pain is serious or not. In some cases, it may be a minor issue that can be resolved with rest and home remedies. But in other cases, it could be a sign of something more serious. Knowing the difference is key to getting the right treatment and avoiding long-term pain.If your back pain is severe and doesn't get better with rest, it's likely serious.

Additionally, if the pain extends down one or both legs, especially below the knee, it's a sign that something more serious may be going on. Once you know what movement or position causes your lower back pain, try to avoid it and see if it improves. However, the cause of lower back pain may be more complicated than the twisting or lifting that caused it in the first place, so preventing future pain means getting to the source of what caused it. You may be referred to a physical therapist, chiropractor, or other professional depending on the nature of your back pain.

As you progress, you'll learn to continuously improve and maintain your back strength on your own, so you can keep back pain at bay for the long term.Inflammation and thinning of the cartilage can increase friction on the joints, which can cause lower back pain. With little time and home remedies such as over-the-counter pain relievers and hot and cold therapy, acute pain can start to go away quickly, in as little as two weeks.If you feel your lower back pain getting worse on days when it's cold or the weather changes, you're not imagining things. If back pain lasts longer than three months, it's considered chronic and may require a personalized treatment plan.If you have any of these signs, a spinal specialist can investigate the underlying cause of your back pain using diagnostic imaging tests such as an X-ray, CT scan, MRI, or myelogram. Lower back pain may feel like aching, burning, or sharp or dull pain that fluctuates in intensity from mild to severe.Most back pain will go away after a few days but if you've been feeling pain for more than a week, it's time to call a doctor.

If you have a car accident (even a minor one), fall, or suffer any type of injury that causes back pain, it's time to see a professional. Spinal arthritis, the slow degeneration of spinal joints, is the most common cause of low back pain.It can be difficult to differentiate between acute back pain and chronic back pain but the length of time is the most important indicator. If back pain is already affecting routine activities don't let it become so debilitating that it prevents you from doing things you love.

Marcie Macvicar
Marcie Macvicar

Extreme web nerd. Total food aficionado. Typical coffee evangelist. Alcohol enthusiast. Passionate coffee evangelist.

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