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Can I Go To Emergency Room For Back Pain

When To Go To Urgent Care For Back Pain

When to Go to the Emergency Room for Back Pain

Certain back pain symptoms may not require immediate attention on the same day of occurrence but may need medical assessment as early as possible. When an appointment with a primary care physician or specialist is not available within a week, visiting an urgent care facility may be recommended to evaluate these symptoms:

  • A recent increase in back pain that does not subside with over-the-counter or prescription medications
  • Back pain associated with nausea and/or vomiting
  • Back pain that becomes severe with specific movements, such as while coughing, bending forward or backward, or during twisting movements
  • Back pain that travels down the hip and/or leg
  • Recent onset of back stiffness

While an urgent care facility may not be equipped for a complete evaluation and diagnosis, the physician can help identify any hidden red-flag symptoms. An urgent-care physician can also prescribe medication to help control the symptoms in the short-term and offer referrals/guidance for further evaluation or treatment.

How Patients Are Prioritized In The Er

Patients at the ER are triaged when they arrive based on the severity of their condition. For example, someone who has had life-threatening physical trauma, or is having a heart attack or stroke, will be seen sooner than someone who is having back pain.

Although your pain may feel like an emergency to you, if you’re not experiencing urgent or life-threatening symptoms, you may have to wait a while to see a doctor. If the ER is particularly busy, you could wait several hours for treatment.

When To Go To The Er For Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain can signify many potential problems with a wide range of severity. People young and old can require a trip to the ER for abdominal pain. Severe pain, especially pain that is sudden, usually indicates that you should seek medical attention.

Seek medical attention if you experience:

  • Fever over 101 degrees
  • Pain that spreads to the groin or back
  • Pain that does not go away within a few minutes or hours
  • Blood in stools or urine, or stools which are black and tarry
  • Blood in vomit
  • Stomach is tender to the touch

Also Check: Is Standing Or Sitting Better For Lower Back Pain

Sudden Onset And Wont Go Away

Again, some people have experienced minor back pain for years. But sometimes it can appear suddenly and rapidly. This is often a bad sign, especially if a couple of days pass and the pain is not any better.Lets say you are at the gym doing some squats, and pull a muscle, or you hurt your back doing yard work. These things can cause your back to hurt a lot even though your back was fine before that incident.If the pain persists for more than a day without showing signs of improving, then come to Emerald Coast Urgent Care.

When To Go To The Er For Chest Pain

Is that sore throat an emergency?

Chest pain is always significant, and should never be ignored. Not all chest pain is related to a heart problem. For example, heartburn can sometimes mimic the symptoms of a heart attack. Chest pain that lasts a few seconds before going away may not be related to a heart problem, and is usually is not a cause for concern.

However, if you are uncertain whether your chest pain is serious or not, its best to be safe and seek medical attention.

Chest pain is often indicative of a heart attack, so be familiar with the following warning signs.

Heart attack warning signs:

  • Chest pain that is not relieved by a change in position
  • Chest pain that spreads to the arms, neck, jaw, or back
  • Chest pain that produces a squeezing, heavy pressure sensation

If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, call an ambulance immediately.

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Signs Of Kidney Stones

Its not uncommon for kidney stones to begin to occur but resolve without any medical treatment. In these minor cases and similar mild cases, its fairly common not to experience any symptoms. However, kidney stones, if left untreated, can enlarge and become infected posing a dangerous problem. When this happens, youll experience:

  • Severe pain in the abdomen, groin, genitals, or side

Two Severe Back Pain Symptoms You Should Get Er Treatment For

Dr. Madsen:

Number two, are you having symptoms like, losing control of your bladder or your bowels? Maybe you didn’t have a direct injury to the back, maybe you’re just having pain in your lower back and you cannot get to the bathroom quickly enough, you just can’t hold it, you’re urinating on yourself or you try to go to the bathroom and you really can’t urinate. That is something that also you need to go to the ER for.

So that’s second thing, the first thing’s probably kind of obvious, you figure, “Okay, if I’ve been injured, let’s say I fell or something hit me on the back, I’m having pain right on my spine, probably need to get some X-rays or a CT scan,” but the second thing it’s kind of an unusual thing but something I always think about, It’s a term, it’s something medical condition called cauda equina, and what that means is cauda equina’s Latin for the horse’s tail.

In my mind, that really raises concern for that, and the way I diagnose that is an MRI. And that’s something you would need in the ER. So those are the two things that would say go to the ER for.

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Concerned About Your Back Pain Symptoms We Can Help

Most back pain goes away on its own. But if your back pain has been lingering for more than two weeks without improvement, its been coming and going for some time, or if youre experiencing any alarming symptoms, dont delay the care you need. After all, its much easier to take care of yourself when you can move without pain.

Think PNBC may be right for you? Schedule a consultation.

Sharp Sudden Pain That Wont Go Away

When Should I Go To The Emergency Room For Back Pain?

Average healthy adults may experience back pain regularly, but this can be made manageable with a good, long rest. But its a greater cause for concern if a sharp pain comes on suddenly, even if you havent been engaged in any rigorous activity. For some patients, this may happen after an accident like when they lift something heavy and pull a muscle.

However, it could be a serious problem if this sharp pain doesnt disappear after a few days. Likely causes for this problem include torn back muscles or ligaments, injury to the spinal cord, or a problem with an internal organ located in the back or on the sides of the body. Emergency care at a hospital may be needed to address the underlying problem.

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Questions To Ask Your Doctor

Whether you’re seeing your primary care doctor or sitting in the emergency department, a clinician is going to tell you what they think is the best path for your treatment. They might suggest certain diagnostic tests, medication, or action steps based upon their understanding of the issue. But it’s important to remember that health care is a team effort requiring the participation of the patient: you. MCG experts highly suggest that you ask questions so that you and your clinician can make empowered, informed decisions together. Here are some questions that you can bring with you to your clinic or hospital visit:

  • What is this test for?
  • How many times have you done this procedure?
  • When will I get my results?
  • Why do I need this treatment or drug?
  • Are there any alternatives?
  • Will this medicine interact with any meds I’m currently taking?
  • When and how should I take my medicine?
  • What should I do if I miss my dose?
  • What are the possible complications or side effects?
  • What can I do to help manage my care?
  • What should I avoid doing to prevent my back pain from getting worse?
  • What should I do if my symptoms start?
  • Where and when should I get help if I get worse?

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list so if there are any questions that come up for you before, after, or during the appointment, don’t be afraid to ask. Back pain is frustrating, but you don’t have to suffer alone.

Dealing With Sciatica Right At Its Root

There is a natural way of taking care of your sciatica. By natural, we mean, there are absolutely no side-effects involved. Upper cervical chiropractic care is one solution. It is non-invasive, safe, gentle, and useful.

Correcting the upper cervical spine or necks bones to achieve relief for lower back pain may seem unusual. Still, many clinical studies are considering upper cervical chiropractic a success. The spinal cord runs within the vertebrae of the entire spine, all the way up to the brainstem. The brainstem is in the upper cervical spine or the neck. If there is a misalignment in this area, it can cause compensations to happen down the spine, causing sciatica.

The method upper cervical chiropractors use is precise and very gentle. Patients undergo a systematic examination to identify the accurate location and degree of any subluxation . Most importantly, an upper cervical adjustment often provides patients with quick results and a significant improvement in their sciatica. Also, in some cases, sciatica completely goes away for good.

Find an upper cervical chiropractor to help you with your sciatica and back pain.

to schedule a consultation today.

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Find Out How To Spot Red Flags That Can Indicate A Serious Condition

In many cases, back pain can be as commonplace as a mild headache, a sneeze here and there, or eye strain. In fact, non-specific low back pain is a frequent ailment. One study reports that the lifetime prevalence of chronic low back pain is as high as 84%, making ones chances of experiencing discomfort at one time or another pretty high.

Here’s how to tell if your back pain may be something serious

Then there are those other times, when the back pain just doesnt feel right and your gut is saying that something more is going on. Many people have been known to go to the emergency room when experiencing low back painin 2012, a study found that low back pain accounted for 3.15% of all emergency visits in the United States. When you consider how many conditions can land someone in the ER, that number is fairly substantial.

Lets say that youre experiencing a significant amount of back pain, wondering, How do I know if my back pain is serious? This guide will help you decide if it warrants a trip to your doctor or the emergency room.

Understanding Suspicion In The Emergency Room

Should you go to an ER for stomach pain?

âIn most cases, itâs probably unfair to the patient,â Blumstein says. But emergency room doctors have strong motivations to carefully screen out drug seekers. They want to thwart drug abuse and any chance that narcotics will be diverted, for example, sold to strangers, or exchanged for illegal substances. âThey have a high street value,â Blumstein says.

ER doctors have one useful tool, though. Currently, 34 states have prescription drug monitoring programs that allow doctors to check a patientâs prescription history online. âI can look up a patient and see all the prescriptions that have been filled for controlled substances,â says Blumstein, who practices in North Carolina. Doctors can use the database to corroborate a patientâs story. Or they might see patterns that warn them to probe further for drug abuse, for example, prescriptions from numerous physicians that have been filled at multiple pharmacies.

âIt is an unbelievably great tool for physicians,â says Eduardo Fraifeld, MD, president of the American Academy of Pain Medicine.

But ER doctors also rely on instincts, Blumstein says. âItâs all perception. Itâs the whole gut impression that the health-care providers get about you.â

So how can a patient with chronic pain convince the ER staff that their complaints are legitimate? Here are a few tips from the pain experts:

1. Make sure that you have a regular physician who treats your chronic pain.

3. Bring a letter from your doctor.

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You Have A Sprain Thats More Than A Pain

Sprains are common injuries that occur when one of your ligaments the tissues that connect bones at a joint become stretched or torn. Theyre usually caused by falling, twisting, or getting hit. You may feel a tear or pop when it happens. Sprains happen most commonly in the ankle and wrist.

Symptoms of sprains typically include pain, bruising, swelling and the inability to move your joint. And while these symptoms are certainly a nuisance, theyre usually not a cause for alarm.

Most sprains can be treated with a little RICE: Rest, ice, compression, elevation. Your physician may also recommend painkillers or physical therapy.

However, there are times when a sprain requires more immediate medical attention.

If you have a sprain, and experience any of these symptoms, its time to take a trip to an Express Care Clinic:

  • Red streaks or redness that spreads out from the injury
  • Inability to put weight on an injured leg
  • Inability to use your injured joint
  • The joint feels numb or unstable

You should also go to Express Care if you have reinjured an area that you have injured several times in the past, or if the sprain seems severe.

These symptoms can point to infections, broken bones or completely torn ligaments. You may need a brace, splint or surgery if the Express Care providers determine that its a severe injury.

How Long Will You Sit In The Waiting Room

The length of the average ED visit for back pain is around 5 hours. Depending on the other cases that come in that day, you may sit for three hours without being seen by a medical provider.

For someone with back pain, sitting for that amount of time feels uncomfortable, worrying and frustrating.

We know pain is increased by fear, worry and uncertainty. If you suspect something bad is going on and no one can reassure you otherwise, it is very hard to relax and move normally. This guarding and compensation is very normal to see in people with back pain, and unfortunately it can cause your pain to feel worse.

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Emergency Care For Spinal Disc Injury

Once at the hospital, most patients will have to wait for an undisclosed amount of time in the waiting room. If the emergency department is busy, this wait can range from an hour to many, many hours time, spent suffering with no comfort provided. If the patient arrived by ambulance, this step is usually avoided, as they will immediately be placed inside the evaluation area.

During triage, the patient will have their vital signs checked and will have the chance to provide the basic details of their condition to a nurse. This step is often integrated into the waiting room time or is undertaking immediately upon arrival if the patient is transported by ambulance.

When a patient is placed in a bed, they will once again have to wait. This time might be short or may be excruciatingly long, depending on many factors, including the busyness of the department, the number of doctors on staff and the specifics of the most acute patients in the unit. Finally, a doctor or physician assistant will arrive to evaluate the patient.

Emergency Care for Herniated Disc Dissatisfaction

Remember, medical fact demonstrates that most herniations require no care at all and the most common treatments demonstrate âno advantages when compared to no treatmentâ. This recommendation includes the wide range of surgical interventions that are performed to âtreatâ herniated discs each and every day. No wonder patients are dissatisfied with their emergency care for herniated disc experiences!

Symptoms That Warrant A Trip To The Er

Should I go to the ER for sciatica pain?

It can be hard to tell when your best bet is to rush to the emergency room.

When you wake up in the middle of the night with an alarming symptommaybe it’s a high fever or splitting headacheit’s hard to know whether to rush to the emergency room or not. You don’t want to overact, but you definitely don’t want to underreact either. So how do you know when that stomach pain needs to be treated ASAP or if that numb feeling can wait until morning to deal with? We spoke to Ryan Stanton, MD, a board-certified emergency physician and spokesman for the American College of Emergency Physicians to find out.

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Is Your Back Pain An Emergency

Did you wake up today with the worst back pain youve ever felt?

Was it a normal day, and then severe back pain started and you dont know what to do?

In these circumstances you might think the emergency room is the place to go for help.

There are certain pain symptoms that do belong in the emergency department:

  • If you have severe pain anywhere, with vomiting, nausea, fever or changes to your consciousness call an ambulance and get medical care. The medical system is designed to help with symptoms like these.
  • If you have had trauma. If you have a fall, a car accident, you hit your head, slipped down the stairs, crashed your bike and you have pain and symptoms like above, you should call an ambulance and make sure youre safe.
  • If you have severe back pain, lose control of your bladder or bowels, and lose power and feeling in your legs, you should also go to the emergency room.
  • Severe back pain is rarely a medical emergency. Back pain, even with tingling or numbness in your leg, pain that makes you limp, and hurts to sit or stand for long doesnt belong in the emergency room.


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