How do you know back pain is severe?

If you or a loved one could benefit from a back pain consultation, call 214-645-8300 or request an appointment online. Appointment for a new patient or 214-645-8300 or 817-882-2400. As a rule of thumb, if lower back pain does not go away within 1 to 2 weeks, you should visit your doctor. Your pain is most likely not a sign of a medical emergency, but a doctor can provide you with an accurate diagnosis and recommend a treatment plan.

Your doctor can help you determine the specific course of self-care that can help heal lower back pain. Improving your physical condition and learning and practicing how to use your body can help prevent back pain. Or maybe your doctor has been warning you for years that your poor posture could cause lower back pain. 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 lower back pain persists despite treatment, it may be time to consider other causes of lower back pain. Inflammation and thinning of the cartilage increase friction on the joints, which can cause lower back pain. If you have lower back pain that doesn't respond to rest or self-care, it's time to consider seeing a spine specialist. If back pain may be associated with a specific activity, such as lifting or spraining, and the pain goes away 72 hours after resting and applying ice, there's usually nothing to worry about.

If the pain extends from the lower back to one or both legs, it could be sciatica (nerve pain), but that's not always the case. Learn about The Spine Center at UT Southwestern, where the multidisciplinary team of doctors, nurses and providers offers cutting-edge treatments for back pain and spinal related injuries. Once you know what movement or position causes your lower back pain, try to avoid it and see if it improves. Every case of back pain is unique, but the following information can help you determine if your lower back pain is serious.

If back pain symptoms persist after a few weeks, seeing a doctor to accurately diagnose the cause of your back pain is a good first step. But even if it's painless, its contents can put pressure on nearby nerves or irritate them and cause pain in the lower back and other areas. Whether back pain requires surgery or is manageable with conservative treatment, it's important to see a spinal specialist for a diagnosis and care.

Marcie Macvicar
Marcie Macvicar

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

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