Back pain can be a nuisance, but when should you see a doctor? It's important to know the symptoms that require professional attention. Pain that spreads to other parts of the body, numbness, tingling, or weakness, and pain after an accident are all signs that you should seek medical help. Additionally, if you have problems with your bowels or urination, it's time to see a doctor. It's also important to focus on body mechanics, such as lifting objects, standing and sleeping appropriately.
Regular exercise, good posture, and maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce the risk of lower back pain. Patients may remember a specific incident that caused their back pain or have no idea what is causing the discomfort. If you feel numbness, weakness, or tingling due to back pain, you may have nerve damage or irritation. Chronic back pain may appear suddenly but usually increases gradually and lasts longer than six weeks.
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. You should see a doctor if nerve pain persists, especially if over-the-counter pain medications don't help. Severe low back pain with incontinence may be a sign of a rare but dangerous condition called horsetail syndrome. Low back pain can also be a symptom of conditions that are not directly related to the back.
Causes of upper back pain include herniated discs, muscle overuse, osteoarthritis, and nerve compression.Most back pain goes away on its own after four to six weeks with self-care. However, if your symptoms persist or worsen after this time frame, it's important to seek medical attention.