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When Should I Be Worried About Lower Back Pain

Lower Back Pain In Early Pregnancy: What Our Forum Mums Say

What causes lower back pain & when should I be worried?

Taking a look on our forum, we found lots and lots of mums chatting about having lower back pain in early pregnancy like Bonnie Holmes, who says:

As this is my 1st Im unsure what to expect. So far my pregnancy has been OK no sickness, just very tired and sore boobs.

However, woke up today with lower back pain, like, up over my butt, very sore. Is this normal? Checked on internet but loads of different opinions

Bonnies comment generated lots of responses, with plenty of mums-to-be going through the same thing like Minnie22, who reveals: Im 7 weeks and have this too!

I had backache just after BFP for 2 weeks then it stopped and now its back. I also have the odd sharp pain in ribs at back sure its all the stretching and growing.

What Is Back Pain

Back pain refers to pain that you may feel in your back or spine. It is a very common problem: 1 in 6 Australians report having back problems, and 4 out of 5 experience it sometime in their life. While both men and women report that they experience back problems, it is more commonly reported by people 25 years and older.

Back pain can be grouped into different categories. Lower back pain refers to pain felt in the lower part of the spine . Back problems can also affect the upper back , the neck as well as the tailbone .

People experience back pain in different ways. Some people say it feels like a sharp pain other people report aches or spasms. You may feel stiff, or find it hard to turn or bend in certain directions. In some cases, such as sciatica, pain can travel down one or both your legs.

Back pain can impact you physically and mentally. People suffering from back pain may feel irritable or short-tempered. They may worry about whether the pain will control their life and may experience feelings of helplessness.

When To See A Doctor

There is not always an obvious cause of lower back pain, and it often gets better on its own. Resting, trying hot or cold therapy, taking OTC pain relievers, and gently stretching may help speed up recovery.

However, a person should see a doctor for lower back pain that is severe, does not seem to be getting better, or occurs alongside other concerning symptoms, such as tingling or numbness down the legs.

People with lower back pain should seek immediate medical attention if they also have any of the following symptoms:

  • difficulty walking or moving the legs
  • loss of bowel or bladder function
  • loss of sensation in the legs
  • very severe pain

A doctor can help a person identify potential causes of lower back pain and recommend appropriate treatment.

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What Happens When I Visit A Back Doctor

We gather a full medical history of your back problems and perform detailed physical examinations, said Dr. Guo. That includes checking for tenderness, spine range of motion, strength, sensation, and reflexes. Depending on your symptoms, we may perform provocative tests to find out what triggers your pain. We may order imaging studies, such as X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans. We may order electromyography and a nerve conduction study, which assess whether you have muscle and/or nerve problems that may cause your symptoms. We use all the information to help identify the cause of your back pain and associated symptoms, and provide the most appropriate treatments for you.

How Long Is Too Long To Suffer From Back Pain

Back Pain and Fever: Should I Be Worried?

Nothing makes a long day even longer than having to deal with back pain. If you’re suffering from lower back pain, even simple tasks like picking up a bag of groceries can feel overwhelming.

What’s more, the cause of your lower back pain may be more complicated than the actual twisting or lifting that brought it on in the first place and preventing future pain means getting to the source of what caused it.

“If you wait to do something about lower back pain until it’s become debilitating, you’ve waited too long,” says Dr. Hosun Hwang, spine specialist at Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital. “Most people’s back pain dissipates in about a week or two, but if your pain is long-term or chronic, it’s time to see a spine specialist.”

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How Goodpath Can Help

There are many causes of low back pain. With treatment, it is possible to lessen the pain or even stop it altogether.

GoodPath uses an integrative, personalized treatment approach for low back pain. Our back pain program includes therapeutic video exercises, mind-body techniques, home-delivered supplements and medicines, and nutritional support. You will also have the support of one of our Goodpath coaches.

The first step is to complete our brief assessment. Based on your responses, we will tailor a back pain program just for you. Why dont you get started?

Can Lower Back Pain Be A Sign Of Something Serious Like Cancer

Lower back pain can be related to cancer. In fact, it is one of the first symptoms of prostate cancer when it metastasizes and creates lesions. Almost any cancer can spread to the back and some, like sarcoma, can originate in the back. Be cautious, especially if you are experiencing other symptoms besides lower back pain. Talk to your doctor if you have additional symptoms or concerns.

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When To Worry About Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain is the fifth-most common reason that drives people to the doctor’s office. Learn the tips on how to prepare for your doctor’s visit

There are several serious and acute causes of low back pain, which you need to watch out for. These include trauma, urine or bowel difficulties, numbness, motor deficits, and several others. Keep reading to find out whether you should worry about low back pain.

Low back pain is the 5th most common reason that drive people to the doctor s office. Its also typically a benign and self-limiting condition. However, there are some uncommon but more serious causes of low back pain. So how do you know when you should worry about it? What are some of those concerning red flags? How can you best prepare for your doctors visit? And how can you treat lower back pain?

I will address these questions and more in a two-part episode dedicated to this highly common medical ailment.

Lets take Lori as an example. Shes a 46-year-old female bakery owner who came to see me for three days of low back pain, severe enough to prevent her from working. Lori is very healthy and rarely comes in to see me, so I knew she must not be well if shed visited the office. What happened to Lori? And how can we help fix her lower back?

»Continue reading on QuickAndDirtyTips.com

Back Pain Due To Developmental Problems

I hurt my back. Should I be worried?

If a patient has mechanical back pain due to developmental problems with the spine, they may require surgery. If the patient is experiencing leg symptoms, surgery can address these.

Usually the procedure performed is a spinal fusion, which is facilitated by using metal work. This acts as scaffolding on the spine to provide stability as well as help the spine fuse, which helps with the pain.

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Can Back Pain Lead To Complications

The good news is that most people recover from back pain within a few weeks.1 See your doctor if you experience additional symptoms, such as:

  • loss of bowel and/or bladder control
  • severe pain that gets worse instead of better over time
  • problems with passing urine or bowel movements
  • numbness or a pins-and-needles sensation in your legs, back or elsewhere
  • unexplained weight loss
  • back redness or swelling

For some people, back pain becomes an ongoing problem. Around 1 in every 2 people who experience back pain will experience it again, and for 1 in 5 people, back pain may last beyond 8 to 12 weeks. Possible complications that result from persistent, long-term back pain include:

  • dependence on strong pain medicines, such as opioids
  • reduced quality of life
  • more difficulty finding work and keeping active

See your healthcare professional if your back pain is unresolved and limits your movement and activities. A health care professional can help you find ways to manage your pain and regain a better quality of life.

Ready To Address Your Back Pain

The University of Maryland Spine Network can help you put your pain behind you. With convenient locations throughout the state, the UM Spine Network is home to the region’s leading spine surgeons and specialists that can help you identify the source of your pain and put an end to it for good.

Put an end to your back pain. Find a spine specialist near you.

In This Section:

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What Are The Risk Factors For Developing Low Back Pain

Anyone can have back pain. Factors that can increase the risk for low back pain include:

Age: The first attack of low back pain typically occurs between the ages of 30 and 50, and back pain becomes more common with advancing age. Loss of bone strength from osteoporosis can lead to fractures, and at the same time, muscle elasticity and tone decrease. The intervertebral discs begin to lose fluid and flexibility with age, which decreases their ability to cushion the vertebrae. The risk of spinal stenosis also increases with age.

Fitness level: Back pain is more common among people who are not physically fit. Weak back and abdominal muscles may not properly support the spine. Weekend warriorspeople who go out and exercise a lot after being inactive all weekare more likely to suffer painful back injuries than people who make moderate physical activity a daily habit. Studies show that low-impact aerobic exercise can help maintain the integrity of intervertebral discs.

Weight gain: Being overweight, obese, or quickly gaining significant amounts of weight can put stress on the back and lead to low back pain.

Genetics: Some causes of back pain, such as ankylosing spondylitis , have a genetic component.

Smoking: It can restrict blood flow and oxygen to the discs, causing them to degenerate faster.

Backpack overload in children: A backpack overloaded with schoolbooks and supplies can strain the back and cause muscle fatigue.

What Research Is Being Done

Should I worry about my lower back pain (LBP)?

The mission of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke is to seek fundamental knowledge of the brain and nervous system and to use that knowledge to reduce the burden of neurological disease. NINDS is a component of the National Institutes of Health , the leading supporter of biomedical research in the world.

As a primary supporter of research on pain and pain mechanisms, NINDS is a member of the NIH Pain Consortium, which was established to promote collaboration among the many NIH Institutes and Centers with research programs and activities addressing pain. On an even broader scale, NIH participates in the Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee, a federal advisory committee that coordinates research across other U.S. Department of Health and Human Services agencies as well as the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.

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What Is The Outlook For People With Lower Back Pain

The outlook depends on the cause of pain. Most people with back strains and sprains recover and do not have long-term health issues. But many people will have another episode within a year.

Some people have chronic back pain that doesnt get better after several weeks. Older people with degenerative conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis may have symptoms that get worse over time. Surgery and other treatments are effective at helping people with a range of injuries and conditions live pain-free.

When To Contact A Medical Professional

  • Back pain after a severe blow or fall
  • Burning with urination or blood in your urine
  • History of cancer
  • Loss of control over urine or stool
  • Pain traveling down your legs below the knee
  • Pain that is worse when you lie down or pain that wakes you up at night
  • Redness or swelling on the back or spine
  • Severe pain that does not allow you to get comfortable
  • Unexplained fever with back pain
  • Weakness or numbness in your buttocks, thigh, leg, or pelvis

Also call if:

  • You have been losing weight unintentionally
  • You use steroids or intravenous drugs
  • You have had back pain before, but this episode is different and feels worse
  • This episode of back pain has lasted longer than 4 weeks

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When Should I Worry About Mid

Mid-back pain is more serious than low-back pain. Low back pain can be caused by a somewhat going on in the body.

Mid-back pain tends to stretch beyond the spine or surrounding muscles and may also involve some kind of disruption of nerve function, all indicating minor injury, but mid-back pain generally indicates there is something larger than some more serious might be going on.

If you are experiencing any kind of mid-back pain, it is best to consult with your doctor immediately. The first step will probably be imaging studies like an x-ray or MRI followed by more extensive testing if needed.

Your doctor might also refer you to physical therapy for immediate relief before resorting to surgery or other long-term treatments.

What Causes Low Back Pain

Young back pain, SHOULD you be WORRIED? | Ankylosing Spondylitis | Doctor Says

It is usually caused by muscle strain in your lower back. If you strain a muscle in your back, it can hurt to move it.

Another cause of low back pain is a bulging disk. Disks in your spine give cushioning and support. When a disk bulges, or herniates, it may irritate a nerve . This can cause pain that travels down your thigh or leg. Pain caused by nerve irritation is called sciatica .

In rare cases, back pain may be caused by an infection, cancer, or other diseases.

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Chronic Low Back Pain Is Serious But Rarely Ominous

Back pain can suck the joy out of your days for week, months, even years. It can definitely be serious even when its not dangerous. I have worked with many truly miserable chronic low back pain patients, and of course the huge economic costs of back pain are cited practically anywhere the subject comes up. But your typical case of chronic low back pain, as nasty as it can be, has never killed anyone.

Ominous is medical jargon for truly scary. Cue Jaws theme music. Low back pain is ominous when it is caused by something that can cripple or kill you. Such causes are rare, fortunately. But awful things do happen, even the best doctors can miss them .

Ordinary back pain can be fierce & awful but not dangerous. Its bark is almost always much louder than its bite.

Can Tight Hips Affect Your Lower Back

Muscle imbalances in the hip, such as tight hip flexors, can cause low back pain or at least contribute to it. When the hip flexor muscles are too tight, is causes what is known as an anterior pelvic tilt. In other words, the muscles cause an anterior pull on the pelvis. This affect posture and throws the entire lower body out of alignment.

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Is Lower Right Back Pain Worrisome

Pain on the right side of the back is not particularly worrisome, no. Same with the left. There are two main kinds of back pain that occurs only on one side:

  • Back pain that could occur on either side, but just happens to be on the right or the left exclusively. This is very common. Most ordinary back pain dominates one side of the back.
  • Back pain that comes specifically from structures that exist only on one side. This is a small category.
  • Most of the anatomy of the low back and abdomen is symmetrical. Some of the guts are not symmetrical, and only some of those is a plausible cause of right-sided back pain. Heres some of the key anatomy to consider:

      • Bones & muscle All the musculoskeletal structures of the low back are 100% symmetrical, except for small local variations. Injury, pathology, and developmental can occur more one side of course. For instance, intervertebral discs rarely bulge exactly in the centre, but to one side or the other.
      • Kidneys The kidneys are a matched pair. One painful kidney can cause back pain on one side or the other. Kidney pain can feel like back pain, and may occur on only one side. It is usually quite lateral, and just barely low enough to qualify as low back pain. However, when kidney stones descend through the ureters, they can cause pain in the low back. Kidney stone pain is often so severe and develops so rapidly that it isnt mistaken for a back pain problem.

    Sensations That Might Indicate A Medical Emergency

    I hurt my back. Should I be worried?

    1. Sharp pain rather than a dull ache: This could indicate a torn muscle or ligament, or a problem with an internal organ in the back or side.2. Radiating pain: This pain “moves” or shoots to the glutes or legs, which could indicate a nerve compression condition.

    3. Sudden weakness in the legs: Limb weakness can be caused by compressed nerves in the spine due to conditions like sciatica or spinal stenosis. However, sudden leg weakness could also indicate a stroke.4. Incontinence: Back pain paired with inability to control the bowels or bladder might be a sign of serious nerve compression or a spine infection, such as discitis or meningitis.5. Numbness or pins and needles in the groin or glutes: This is known as saddle anesthesia and is also a sign of a serious nerve or spine condition.

    If you have leg weakness, incontinence, and numbness together, you might have cauda equina syndrome, a serious illness characterized by spinal cord nerve damage. This is a medical emergency, and patients usually need surgery immediately to decompress the nerves and reduce permanent damage.

    Related reading: Get help for back, neck, and leg pain caused by spinal stenosis

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