Back pain can be caused by a variety of issues, from minor injuries to more serious conditions. It's important to know when to take back pain seriously and seek medical attention. With acute back pain, symptoms may appear suddenly and last for a few days or weeks. However, with chronic back pain, symptoms may appear quickly or increase over time, but they last longer than six weeks or are recurrent.
If you experience any of the following signs, it may be time to consult an expert: back pain that causes new bowel or bladder control problems; inflammation and thinning of the cartilage that increases friction on the joints; persisting back pain for more than two weeks without improvement; back pain that has been coming and going for some time; or any alarming symptoms. In general, back pain should not be ignored if the underlying condition is not treated, as it is likely to worsen, in terms of joint degeneration or chronic muscle spasms. According to the American Chiropractic Association, approximately 80 percent of people will experience back pain at some point in their lives. 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.
New research suggests that what you eat may make you more or less likely to have lower back pain. You'll also focus on body mechanics, such as lifting objects, standing and sleeping appropriately, all things that can contribute to back pain but you probably don't think about. It can be difficult to differentiate between acute back pain and chronic back pain, but the length of time is the most important indicator. In addition, the cause of lower back pain may be more complicated than the twisting or lifting that caused it in the first place, and preventing future pain means getting to the source of what caused it.
If your back pain has been persisting for more than two weeks without improvement, has been coming and going for some time, or if you have any alarming symptoms, don't delay the care you need. This is a proven method for curing chronic back pain. Ask any of the more than 200,000 patients we've worked with for the past 30 years.