Everyone has occasional back pain. Some back pain may be due to recent extra exertion or exercise. But if your back or neck pain is recurring or causing other problems, you will need to seek treatment. Many Spine Diagnostic Institute uses the latest research to treat the causes of your back pain and get you up and moving again.
There are several back pain symptoms that you shouldn’t ignore. Muscle pain, spasms, and stiffness are important signs of back problems. If your back pain lasts for more than a day or two without improvement, you may need to seek a physician’s advice. This is true especially if you think you may have injured your back or sprained it in some way.
If you have lower back pain that includes pain in the legs, you may have sciatica. Sciatica pain usually starts in the lower back and travels down to the leg past the knee creating muscle pain and spasms. There may be weakness in the legs as well. Sciatica is caused by spinal stenosis, arthritis, a herniated disc, pinched nerves, or bone spurs. MRI or other forms of imaging will aid in diagnosing and treating sciatica.
Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spine. It can be caused by aging, heredity, spinal instability, spinal tumors, or spinal trauma. The spinal canal is narrowed, causing nerve problems and pain. Symptoms of stenosis are clumsiness, falling, lower back pain, and a hot or cold feeling in the legs that may include numbness or tingling.
Cauda Equina Syndrome
Cauda equina syndrome is a condition that requires immediate treatment or surgery. Cauda equina occurs when the nerves at the base of the spine are squeezed. This causes nerve-related issues such as buttock and leg pain as well as foot pain. Other symptoms are tingling, numbness, and weakness. In severe cases a sufferer may experience loss of bladder and bowel control.
Arthritis of the spine is suspected when there is pain in the back or hip region that gradually worsens. Pain usually increases after periods of sleeping or inactivity. Back arthritis pain usually improves after the person moves around for a while.
Swelling and Fever
Any time you have back pain in a specific area that worsens, the cause of the pain needs to be addressed. There may be a tumor, spinal fracture, or infection of the spine. This is especially true if the area is sensitive to touch or if there is heat or fever in the affected area.
Any time that back pain is constant and does not respond to bed rest a doctor should be consulted. If bed rest makes the pain worse, consult a physician as well, because spinal tumors do not respond to bed rest. In the case of spinal tumors, pain lasts more that 2-3 weeks. Pain that wakes you up when sleeping or prevents you from sleeping is another sign to see a doctor.