Back Pain: When to Seek Prompt Medical Care

Most people tend to feel concerned and apprehensive when experiencing back pain, especially those who are not used to dealing with pain. The reality, however, is that most causes of back pain are not sinister. In other words, as frustrating as the pain can be, most cases won’t pose a dangerous risk to your health.

But of course, there are instances where back pain can be an indicator of a serious problem.

Anyone who experiences back pain with incontinence and/or numbness around the groin area should seek immediate medical attention. (Incontinence means a partial or total loss of bladder and/ or bowel control. Numbness is when you have no sensitivity to touch.)

You should also seek prompt medical help if you meet the following criteria:

1: Your back pain has lasted for more than 6 weeks

2: Your pain is severe, getting worse or not improving

3: You have any of the below “red flag” symptoms

Red Flag Symptoms

Back pain when you are over 55 or under 20

Pain upon light tapping of the spine

Unexplained fever

Unexplained weight loss

You use/ have previously used steroids

You take/ you have previously taken drugs

You have been diagnosed with HIV

You feel generally unwell

You have symptoms of/ a family history of autoimmune disease. These symptoms may include other joint pain and morning stiffness.

You experience unusual symptoms in your legs such as tingling, numbness or weakness.

Obviously, incontinence and numbness around the groin area are also “red flag” warning signs.

Although experiencing the above symptoms can be worrying, most cases of back pain are not serious (even the pain makes you question that). The important thing is to seek medical advice if you are concerned about any aspect of your health. Ignoring your back pain will not make it go away or change the eventual diagnosis. The sooner your symptoms are addressed, and the sooner the cause of your symptoms is detected, the sooner you can receive the correct treatment.

Remember that stress and worry are risk factors for low back pain and can increase the pain and hinder recovery. Also remember that pain severity does not always indicate the seriousness of the condition.

Seek help if you are in any doubt over the severity or cause of your back pain. Seek immediate medical help if you present with any of the symptom criteria in this article.


Stoke City Chiropractic ClinicTake your first step towards better health and call us on 01782 848 184 today

From the team at City Chiropractic Clinic
Our Chiropractors in Stoke on Trent are here to help you

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