Back Pain You Shouldn’t Ignore
Back Pain You Shouldn’t Ignore
Have you been putting up with annoying back pain for what feels like forever at this point?
Are you nervous about going to a chiropractor or doctor because of COVID-19?
Do you think you can wait it out watching YouTube videos on “how to get rid of back pain” until you feel like things are safe again?
Back pain often goes away on its own, especially when stretching, self-myofascial release, and self-massage are administered. But there are also times when back pain can be a symptom of something more serious such as an injury or infection.
Let’s take a look at the types of back pain that you shouldn’t ignore. We’ll list them from least to most serious.
Persistent Back Pain
In most cases, especially after working out or aggravating an old injury, back pain tends to subside on its own after about a week.
In some cases, it can take longer, typically a few months, but the catch is that the back pain is noticeably getting better as time passes.
If your back pain has been going on for more than one week without any signs of improvement, we would recommend scheduling an appointment with your doctor or chiropractor.
Sudden Back Pain
It’s pretty rare when you’re surprised by back pain. For example, if you slept on a poor quality mattress, you are already expecting to wake up sore. Or if you had an intense workout that focused a lot on core and hip hinge movements, you know the lower back will feel it.
When back pain starts suddenly and without a justifiable reason, this could cause concern, especially if it is extreme and long-lasting.
If the pain is sudden and sticks around for a couple of days without getting better, we recommend scheduling an appointment.
Pain That Travels
In general, back pain tends to stay in one spot. If your back pain is related to poor posture, for example, you’ll probably only feel the pain in your lower back.
When pain travels, this could be a sign that something else is going on. Most notably, when the pain travels down your legs, bringing a feeling of numbness with it.
Depending on the severity of the pain and accompanying symptoms, you can either schedule an appointment with a chiropractor (many accept same-day emergency patients) or go to an urgent care.
Back Pain After a Fall or Car Crash
If you’ve recently been involved in a car crash, fell from an elevated surface, or sustained an injury while playing sports, you should take any type of back pain very seriously.
Back pain after one of these events could be a sign of something more serious such as a fracture. Don’t take a chance and wait for it to get better on its own. Schedule an appointment with your chiropractor or doctor right away.
Pain can be subjective, varying from person to person. What is considered excessive pain for one person might not bother someone else.
With that said, if the pain you feel in your back has progressed to the point of severity where day-to-day tasks, as well as your mental faculties, are impacted, you should consider seeing your doctor or chiropractor.
Again, if the pain is incredibly severe, don’t wait; go to urgent care.
Pain That Makes Daily Tasks Difficult
We’ve all had back pain that was more of a dull aching nuisance than anything else. One ibuprofen and 30 minutes later, and we’re able to do what we need to.
When your pain is accompanied by other symptoms that directly impact your day-to-day movements or make it nearly impossible to walk, this is not normal.
If you notice weakness, numbness, and/or tingling accompanying your back pain, it’s time to immediately see a doctor or chiropractor.
Depending on the severity of all the symptoms and how long they have been going on, you might not want to wait for an appointment that’s weeks away. Instead, visit urgent care. Also, chiropractors tend to have same-day appointments.
Back Pain That You Feel in Your Abdomen
Sometimes back pain has nothing to do with muscle tissue or your spine; it might be a symptom of an issue with an organ.
When your back pain is accompanied by pain in your abdomen and sides, this might be a sign that something is wrong with your kidneys or liver.
The pain in the abdomen is usually dull but can progress to sharp, stabbing pain. If you also have a fever or issues with your bladder, this requires immediate medical attention – don’t wait; go to Urgent Care.
Back Pain Accompanied by a Fever
Speaking of fever, when you have back pain and a fever, this could be a sign of an infection.
Before heading to a doctor, it’s important to think about the overall symptoms. For example, if you have a cold or the flu, then a fever with back pain will be expected.
However, if you have a fever and the only other symptom is back pain, then it’s time to make the call.
Bladder or Bowel Issues
Back pain accompanied by a loss of bladder or bowel control is a symptom that requires immediate attention. Do not wait and make an appointment; go directly to urgent care or the emergency room.
Searching for Back Pain Relief?
It’s important to keep in mind that some of these symptoms could overlap, such as extreme pain that doesn’t go away. In general, the more symptoms you have, the more essential it is to see a doctor. Especially with the symptoms mentioned further down on the list, do not wait to see if the symptoms improve.
Are you not sure whether you need to see a specialist for back pain? Has your pain progressed to the point that you’re ready to see a medical doctor or chiropractor?
Give us a call at 773-878-7330. We can help you make sense of your back pain and the best course of action. We also have emergency, same-day appointments as well as TeleHealth options. Don’t leave your back pain to chance schedule your appointment today.
Dr. DeFabio is a highly regarded chiropractor in Chicago who focuses on helping his patients achieve optimal health and wellness. He takes a holistic approach to care, treating symptoms and addressing underlying issues to promote long-term healing. Dr. DeFabio is passionate about empowering his patients to take control of their health and live their best lives. You can find him surfing, skateboarding, and volunteering at the Lakeview Food Pantry when he’s not in the office.