Q3 How Do You Know When Back Pain Is Serious
When back pain becomes serious, visiting urgent care centers wont help in treating the disease. Instead, visit emergency centers for further treatment. The symptoms like a sudden spike in pain, numbness, loss of bladder function, high fever, severe stomach pain, and unexplainable weight loss can signal you when your back pain is serious.
When It’s Not An Emergency
If your stomach pain is not severe, persistent, or associated with concerning symptoms like those already discussed, it is likely to resolve on its own. Abdominal pain is usually caused by minor problems such as constipation, trapped gas, or eating something that didn’t agree with you, like a high dairy meal or a spice that you aren’t used to.
Waiting a few hours, having a bowel movement, or passing gas usually helps. There are a few things you can do so that you can be more comfortable and to help relieve your symptoms as your pain resolves:
- Limit yourself to clear liquids for a few hours.
- If you experience vomiting and/or diarrhea, stick with the BRAT diet and other mild foods until your symptoms start to subside.
- Avoid foods that are tough on the digestive system, such as food that is high in fat, fried foods, spicy foods, and drinks containing alcohol or caffeine.
- Try an over-the-counter antacid or gas-relieving product.
- Try to have a bowel movement. Often, eating raw fruit, vegetables, beans, or high-fiber cereal can help.
- Use a hot water bottle or heating pad. This may help to soothe your pain. Place the pad on your abdomen for half-hour intervals and be sure to use a towel under the pad to protect your skin.
Your symptoms may completely improve within one to two days. If they do not, call your doctor’s office for advice.
Signs And Symptoms Of Severe Back Pain
Some of the back pain symptoms may not require immediate attention on the day they occur but may require medical evaluation as soon as possible. If you cannot make an appointment with a primary care doctor or specialist within a week, it is advisable to visit an urgent care center to evaluate these symptoms:
- Spike in back pain incidences that does not subside with medications
- Back pain with nausea or vomiting
- Specific movements like coughing or bending make the back pain worse
- Travel of Back pain down the hip and legs
When back pain indicates a medical emergency, go to urgent care for back pain. The possibility of serious adverse events or accidents leading to permanent disability characterizes emergencies.
Although urgent care centers may not be equipped to conduct a comprehensive assessment and diagnosis, doctors can help identify any hidden warning symptoms.
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When Should You Seek Treatment For Acute Or Chronic Back Pain
Whether you think your back pain is acute or chronic, anytime youre experiencing pain that lasts longer than two weeks without any improvement in symptoms, we strongly suggest you get the care you need.
If you think you need care right away, you can also go to your nearest orthopedic urgent care location.
If the pain is new or you know youve tweaked something, a great place to start is to find a physical therapy location and make an appointment. Our physical therapists will tailor strengthening and mobility exercises to your unique needs, and you can plan on about six visits.
That said, acute back pain will usually heal itself over a few weeks. But chronic pain usually doesnt get better without medical intervention. Why? While home remedies and short-term back pain treatments are helpful, they provide temporary relief and dont address those underlying causes of chronic pain.
So, if youre regularly experiencing signs of chronic back pain, dont ignore it. While chronic pain is long-lasting, it doesnt have to be permanent and you probably dont need surgery. This is where the Physicians Neck & Back Center spinal strengthening program can help.
When To Visit The Er For Back Pain
- When to Visit the ER for Back Pain
While many people tolerate occasional aches and pains in their back, severe back pain may indicate a larger problem. But how do you know if your back pain, or that of a loved one, has reached the point that it requires an emergency department visit?
If at any point you feel that your condition is serious enough that it can’t wait for a visit with your primary care physician, you should visit the emergency department. However, if you’re not sure whether your back pain requires emergency care, consider these guidelines.
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The Pain Gets Worse Instead Of Better
If you iced the knee, put it up for a few hours, and took some ibuprofen and the knee hurts even worse a few hours later, that can be an indication that home treatments arent going to cut it in this case. Maybe you have a more serious injury than you thought at first that a professional needs to diagnose.
These are five situations where the practical and safe thing to do is to seek immediate medical attention. But whether you decide on an emergency room visit or stick with urgent care, remember to let someone else drive. Driving with undiagnosed knee pain is unsafe, especially if its in the leg you use to drive with.
If youre in the Coral Springs area, Walking Urgent Clinic is available for both you and your whole family for any urgent care needs. Check our website for directions and hours.
Tips For Back Pain Relief At Home
There are several self-care tips you can take to prevent back pain while waiting to see a doctor. Here are some effective self-care techniques you can do at home without a prescription to help manage your back pain.
- try topical medications to relieve the pain
- apply heat and cold therapy to reduce inflammation
- try back massage to improve blood circulation
It is a great idea to write down what triggers your back pain and what may help relieve your symptoms. An accurate history of when and how the pain begins and the type of pain will help doctors evaluate the underlying cause and make an accurate diagnosis.
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Other Types Of Back Pain
There are lots of other types of back pain, maybe you’ve lifted something, you’ve got a back strain or a sprain, maybe you’ve got a herniated disc. We do see lots of people with chronic back pain where it flares up. These are all things that could probably be treated through your primary care doctor or even through an urgent care. But in terms of the things that are really serious, those are the things I recommend watching for.
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.
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Midday Is The Best Time To Go To The Urgent Care
You can’t control when you get sick or injured, but if you can, try to head to urgent care late morning or early afternoon. Wait times are often longer in the early morning and around dinnertime since most people tend to go to urgent care right beforeor after work or school. Before you leave, check wait times for Allina Health Urgent Care locations.
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.
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Signs Of Severe Back Pain That Can Be Treated At An Urgent Care
Visit your local urgent care center if you are experiencing one or more of the following signs or symptoms:
- Back strain or a sprain from overuse or lifting something the wrong way.
- Pain, numbness or weakness in an arm or leg, and you suspect a herniated disc.
- You have chronic back pain and are experiencing a flare-up.
- You have persistent pain in the middle of your back as well as pain while urinating, fever, chills, nausea and vomiting. These could be signs of a bladder infection.
- You have a sudden onset of acute back pain along with abdominal pain. These two symptoms together may be symptoms of abdominal aortic aneurysm.
You Think You Broke Or Tweaked Something
Where you should go depends on what the “what” is. In short: Minor broken bones would be a case for urgent care, while major broken bones should be treated at the ER.
Heres another way to decide: rolled your ankle and think it might be broken or sprained, but it doesnt look deformed? Small breaks like that, which wont require straightening of the bone, can be splinted in urgent care centers, says Roth. If that ankle is flopping around or visibly deformed, seek emergency care.
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Back Pain Remedies You Can Do From Home
Your back may not be something you think about much, but lower back pain can hinder your ability to do just about anything. Despite being incredibly common, most people do not know simple back pain remedies that can provide relief.
Back pain can occur for several reasons. Common physical activities like exercising, yard work or other kinds of physical labor, or poor sleep habits can all contribute to back pain.
At Live Urgent Care, we work with those experiencing back pain on two fronts. First, we focus on alleviating the immediate pain through exercises, simple remedies, and, when needed, the proper medications. Second, we provide a plan that helps prevent back pain from returning. These services are available through a virtual visit with Live Urgent Care.
Below are seven simple back pain remedies you can do from home. By using one or combining multiple techniques, you can begin to experience relief from back pain sooner.
A Few Days Or Weeks After The Accident Are You Experiencing Any Aches Or Pains
It is common for people to have injuries they dont feel until hours or days after an accident. If youre experiencing minor aches or pains such as back pain or minor bruising, then an urgent care center is a great place to make sure that any initial injuries werent missed. For example, bruising, muscle stiffness or joint injuries often take a while to show symptoms. These can be dealt with quickly and effectively at an urgent care center
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Back Pain And Leg Weakness
Some people have problems with their feet after an injury. It includes tingling, numbness, or severe pain in the leg, even if it is not injured. At worst, people cant even walk. A lumbar spine examination is crucial if the pain spreads or affects other parts of the body.
Another serious condition that a surgeon should look out for is cauda equina syndrome. One of the main symptoms of this disease is the gradual weakening of the legs.
Several ways can cause cauda equina syndrome:
- previous undiagnosed spinal disorders
- infection can also be a cause
- you could have hurt your spine
Treatment of cauda equina syndrome includes immediate surgery. Doctors try to relieve pressure in the lumbar sac. If necessary, go to the urgent care centers immediately.
Pip And Insurance Plans Accepted
If you back pain is due to an auto accident treatment may be covered through the PIP insurance, which we gladly provide records for and bill. We also accept most insurance plansand provide discounted rates to those who pay at the time of service. Act now before your symptoms worsen.
CUSTOMIZED CARE FOR YOUR BACK PAIN
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How Do I Treat A Muscle Strain
In most cases, a muscle strain can be treated at home using the RICE method. This stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation.
The best thing you can do after straining a muscle is to rest for at least a few days. This is especially important if moving causes you pain.
After two days, its smart to slowly begin moving the impacted area again to prevent weakening of the muscle.
You should also place ice on the affected muscle as soon as possible after your injury to minimize swelling. Be sure to wrap ice in a towel or use an ice pack instead of placing the ice directly on your skin.
The ice should stay on your muscle for about 20 minutes and be repeated hourly for the first day. Ice should also be applied every four hours for the next several days.
In order to keep swelling to a minimum, its a good idea to wrap the strained muscle with an elastic bandage until the swelling goes down. Wrapping the area too tightly can reduce circulation of the blood, so be sure you can place a finger underneath the wrap.
Finally, try to elevate the injured muscle as much as possible. This means keeping the muscle above the level of your heart.
An over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen can help to keep the pain and swelling down.
Why Does My Back Hurt
There are various causes of back pain, including muscle pain with or without muscles spasms, disc pain, joint pain, or nerve pain. In most cases, these are not harmful or dangerous.
Muscle pain is the most common acute back pain. The period of acute pain is usually limited and may be treated at home or by primary care doctors. Sometimes, these patients may be referred to doctors who specialize in back pain. Some back pain can be a symptom of a more serious problem, like a fracture, infection, or cancer in the spine, said H. Michael Guo, MD, a Duke physiatrist who specializes in spine care. These patients should be seen by spine doctors. Fortunately, spine infections and cancer are very rare and usually only affect people with special risk factors. Spine fractures are also rare and may be associated with thinned spine bones or injuries.
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Ice And Heat Your Muscles
Perhaps the most common remedy for back pain is icing of heating your back. These simple methods can be used in conjunction with any of the other methods listed previously.
Generally speaking, icing your back will work best when you are trying to bring down swelling or inflammation. Heating your back is preferred if your goal is to relax a tight muscle. Keeping this guide in mind will help lead you to the treatment you need.
When To Go To The Er For Back Pain
An ER visit is recommended when back pain indicates a medical emergency. An emergency is characterized by the probability of a serious adverse event or an incident that may result in a permanent disability. For back problems, the red-flag symptoms and signs that may indicate an emergency typically start suddenly and include some combination of the following:
- Sudden loss of sensation in one or both legs, the groin and genital area, and/or the anal region
- Inability to walk or stand
- Inability to control bowel movements
- Difficulty in passing urine or uncontrolled bladder movements
- Sudden, intolerable pain in the lower back and/or leg
- Back pain that radiates to the abdomen in front
- Loss of consciousness
- Back pain that follows a trauma, such as a fall, sports injury, or car accident
- Sudden back pain with known risk factors for a fracture, such as osteoporosis
Many of these symptoms relate to spinal cord and/or cauda equina problems in the lower back, severe damage to a spinal nerve, or organ-related damage, or a possible fracture. It is important to evaluate and treat these symptoms and signs urgently to avoid permanent tissue damage and disability.
If any of the above symptoms are experienced, visiting the ER right away or calling 911 for assistance is advised.
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