Two Back Pain Situations You Should Take Seriously Right Away No Delay
These two back pain scenarios might be medical emergencies. They do not necessarily mean something horrible is wrong, but its important to make sure.
Isnt it rather obvious that a potential spinal fracture is an emergency?
Youd think so. But consider this story of a motorcycle accident: many years ago, a friend hit a car that had pulled out from a side street. He flew over the car & landed on his head. Bystanders showed their ignorance of spinal fracture by, yikes, carelessly moving him. In fact, his thoracic spine was significantly fractured yet the hospital actually refused to do an X-ray because he had no obvious symptoms of a spinal fracture. Incredible! The next day, a horrified orthopedic surgeon ordered an X-ray immediately, confirming the fracture & quite possibly saved him from paralysis.
Pain + weakness in both legs as symptoms of cauda equina syndrome or not
That said, obviously you should be checked out if you are experiencing true saddle numbness.17 Even if its not CES, any significant malfunction of your plumbing should be taken seriously.
You Have Unexplained Weight Loss
If you experience sudden weight loss that can’t be explained by diet and lifestyle changes, then you should always pay attention to what your body is telling you. This is especially true when the unexplained weight loss is accompanied by back pain. See your doctor to rule out the possibility of a more severe condition, such as an infection or tumor.
How To Treat Lower Back Pain On The Left Side
If your problem doesnt require hospital treatment, home treatments are usually enough to address the problem. Time, rest, and pain relievers should do the trick. Self-care treatments include ice and hot packs, topical pain-relieving lotion or cream, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and limiting activities that can cause or aggravate your pain.
If your condition requires medical treatment, your potential pain relief solutions include physical therapy, muscle relaxants, nerve blocks, and anticonvulsant medication for certain nerve issues. A lumbar spine steroid injection can provide you temporary relief from bothersome pain. Stronger pain medications include hydrocodone which will certainly come in handy when ibuprofen cant handle your chronic pain. Now do take note that these drugs can be habit-forming, so always stick to your doctors instructions when taking them.
If you have kidney problems, you may need antibiotics or treatment to break up or remove kidney stones. If your condition is that severe, surgery may be the only option for you.
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Left Side Back Pain/lower Left Back Pain Prevention
Im sure youve heard this saying before: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Im a firm believer in that.
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you go about your day. Following these tips can help stop lower left side back pain before it starts.
Improve your posture: Your posture matters a lot! Try to keep an upright position when walking and sitting. No slouching!
Lift the right way: Always, always, always use your legs when lifting heavy objects. Sure, youve heard that advice before, but its too important not to repeat. Make sure you dont bend from the waist. Youll dramatically increase your risk of injury.
Build core strength: Exercises that strengthen your core will help reduce your chances of injury. Im a big fan of pilates for building up core strength. As you strengthen your core muscles, you gain extra support for your spine, which not only helps relieve pain in the lower left side of your back , but also improves posture.
Stretch daily: Stretching improves circulation, reduces stress, makes you more flexible, and improves balance and coordination. The key is to focus on one major muscle group at a time, making sure to stretch muscles on both sides of your body. Start with just 5 minutes a day, and increase the amount of time you spend stretching by 5 minutes each week until you reach an hour.
Who Should I See For Lower Back Pain
Your primary care physician knows you best and should be your first contact for lower back pain. If he or she is unable to diagnose or treat the issue, you may get referred to a specialist, such as a rehabilitation physician . These specialists practice a comprehensive approach to lower back pain, and can diagnose and treat a variety of conditions that have lower back pain as a symptom.
Later, you may get referred to a physical therapist, a chiropractor or another practitioner depending on the nature of your back pain. The good news is that surgery is rarely needed for lower back pain. Only about one in ten patients needs lower back surgery, Chhatre says.
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Complete Guide To Low Back Pain
This article might ease your mind, but what about your back pain? If your pain is becoming chronic , or if you just keep having flare-ups, you may want to dive much deeper into the topic. There arent any easy answers for stubborn back pain, but there is evidence-based hope, and the PainScience.com back pain tutorial explores the topic extremely thoroughly. The main text is written for patients, but its also extensively referenced for keen readers and healthcare professionals. Read the introduction.
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You’re Running A Fever
The flu can definitely make you run a fever and achiness, including in your back. However, if the fever is unresponsive to standard OTC medications, you could have a serious infection that needs treatment immediately. If you go to a doctor and they find an infection, they may prescribe antibiotics and a few days rest.
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Lower Left Back Pain From Internal Organs Causes And Treatments
Sometimes, dull aches or sharp pains in your lower left back can be caused by problems with organs in your abdominal area. The lower left part of your back includes the left kidney, which is located towards your back, just below the rib cage.
Part of your stomach, intestines, and colon are also located on the left side of your abdomen and, usually, if you have any digestive problems, the digestive-related pain may also to be felt on the lower left side of your back.
Women also have part of their reproductive system on the left side of their body. For example, ovarian cyst on the left ovary can also be a source of pain in women in the lower part of their back.
What Can I Do For Low Back Pain At Home
If your lower back pain has just started, the best thing you can do is start a log. Record your symptoms, times, dates and which activities trigger the pain or make it worse or better. Take this information to your family physician if the pain doesnt resolve on its own. It will make diagnosing the cause much easier.
Once you know which motion or position causes your lower back pain, try to avoid it and see if you get better. Icing the painful spot can also help. And so can over-the-counter pain relievers that help reduce inflammation. Just remember that pain killers treat only the symptom pain and not its cause.
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When To See A Healthcare Provider
If the pain keeps you up at night, lasts longer than a week or if this is a recurrence rather than a first time experience of the symptoms, it’s best to consult with your healthcare provider. The same is true if youve had an injury or cancer.
Note that these are just a few of the signs that your back needs medical attention there are a number of others, as well.
Common Causes Of Left Side Back Pain
If you have lower left side back pain, then you are amongst the millions of people who experience this every day. It is a widespread problem, but the good news is, everyone can find relief from their pain. The only question is, how? What is the best way to eliminate lower back pain? A lot of people ask themselves this question, and we explore in this article we will try to find the answers.
Several factors can cause lower back pain, but the main ones that cause problems are muscle imbalances, joint and spine weakness and lack of movement . On one side the muscles can be tight and stiff, and on the other side, they can be weak and soft. This typically will cause muscle imbalances. There are more causes of lower back chronic pain, and for those who have it, it may be quite difficult to find treatment for the relief if you do not know where to look. For those experiencing lower left side back pain, or any other areas of the lower back, these may be the issues below:
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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.
When Is Lower Back Pain An Emergency
Most episodes of lower back pain eventually resolve on their own, but there are times when you should seek urgent medical attention. Some of these situations include:
- Patient is a child
- Pain is severe, constant, suddenly or progressively worsens, and/or doesnt go away
- Pain interrupts sleep
While some situations may warrant immediate intervention, most cases are not urgent and can be scheduled at a time convenient for the patient.
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When To See A Specialist For Lower Back Pain
If you’re experiencing lower back pain that’s not responding to rest and self-care, it’s time to consider seeing a spine specialist.
“A spine specialist will likely perform a physical exam as well as one or more imaging scans to diagnose the root cause of your lower back pain. Depending on your diagnosis, he or she will then design a treatment plan aimed at alleviating your pain and preventing it from disrupting the everyday activities you enjoy,” says Dr. Palmer.
When To Call A Professional
Contact your doctor if:
- Severe back pain makes it impossible for you to do your normal daily activities.
- Your back pain follows significant trauma.
- Mild back pain gets worse after a few days or persists more than a week or two.
- Back pain is accompanied by weight loss, fever, chills or urinary symptoms.
- You develop sudden weakness, numbness or tingling in a leg.
- You develop numbness in the groin or rectum or difficulty controlling bladder or bowel function.
- You have had cancer previously and you develop persistent back pain.
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When To Worry About Back Pain Thats Only On The Left Or Right Side
Unless you experienced an obvious cause, like a fall, you probably arent dealing with a fracture that requires special care, says spine specialist Russell DeMicco, DO. Rarely do you need to worry just because your pain is only on the left side or right side of the back.
The exceptions are:
- Age: An older adult may experience a minor injury that results in a more serious condition either because they have low bone density, or they developed arthritis that causes pain.
- Athleticism: Athletes may experience greater musculoskeletal wear and tear than the general population. Theyre often more vulnerable to fractures, herniated disks or arthritis.
How To Relieve Back Pain
The following tips may help reduce your back pain and speed up your recovery:
- stay as active as possible and try to continue your daily activities this is 1 of the most important things you can do, as resting for long periods is likely to make the pain worse
- try exercises and stretches for back pain other activities such as walking, swimming, yoga and pilates may also be helpful
- take anti-inflammatory painkillers, such as ibuprofen remember to check the medicine is safe for you to take and ask a pharmacist if you’re not sure
- use hot or cold compression packs for short-term relief you can buy these from a pharmacy, or a hot water bottle or a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a cloth or towel will work just as well
Although it can be difficult, it helps if you stay optimistic and recognise that your pain should get better. People who manage to stay positive despite their pain tend to recover quicker.
Back pain usually gets better on its own within a few weeks or months and you may not need to see a doctor or other healthcare professional.
But it’s a good idea to get help if:
- the pain does not start to improve within a few weeks
- the pain stops you doing your day-to-day activities
- the pain is very severe or gets worse over time
- you’re worried about the pain or struggling to cope
If you see a GP they will ask about your symptoms, examine your back and discuss possible treatments.
They may refer you to a specialist doctor or a physiotherapist for further help.
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Muscle Strain Or Sprain
A muscle strain or sprain is the most common cause of low back pain.
A strain is a tear or stretching in a tendon or muscle, while a sprain is a tear or stretching in a ligament.
Sprains and strains usually happen when you twist or lift something improperly, lift something heavy, or overstretch your back muscles.
These injuries can cause swelling, difficulty moving, and back spasms.
What Causes Upper Back Pain In Females
Upper back pain in women is usually due to: Poor posture, like slouching or pushing the head forward while sitting or standing, causing misalignment of the spine. Muscle overuse or strain, usually due to repetitive motions or lifting items or children incorrectly. Injury to discs, muscles and/or ligaments.
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The Worst Back Pain Is Rarely The Scariest
People understandably assume that the worst back pain is the scariest. In fact, pain intensity is a poor indicator of back pain ominousness,10 and some of the worst causes are actually the least painful . For instance, someone could experience the symptoms of cauda equinae syndrome, and be in real danger of a serious and permanent injury to their spine, but have surprisingly little pain even none at all in some cases!
Meanwhile, many non-dangerous problems can cause amazingly severe back pain. A muscle cramp is a good analogy just think about how painful a Charley horse is! Regardless of whats actually going on in there, muscle pain is probably the main thing that back pain patients are feeling. The phenomenon of trigger points tiny muscle cramps, basically11 could be the entire problem, or a complication thats more painful and persistent than the original problem. Its hard to overstate how painful trigger points can be, but they are not dangerous to anything but your comfort.
Is Radiating Lower Back And Hip Pain Dangerous
Most back pain is harmless caused by sleeping in an awkward position, stretched muscles, overexertion, sitting down too long or falling on the ischial tuberosity , or minor hip injuries caused by twisting a certain way during sports like volleyball. Many injuries arise simply from improper form during exercise, sports injuries, or strains.
But there are some pretty serious causes for back and hip pain as well. Lower back pain, in particular, can be a sign of various serious conditions such as advanced kidney infections or a condition called interstitial cystitis, which can cause inflammation of the tissues of the bladder. Sciatica causes lower back pain, pain in the back of the knee, pain in right buttock cheek, unilateral pain, thigh pain, pain behind the knee and calf, and muscle weakness in legs as well.
Outer hip pain and lateral hip pain, though typically not cause for alarm , can be a sign of a serious bone condition, such as arthritis in the back, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, or tendonitis but can also indicate a more serious bone condition like a fracture, labral tear, or conditions such as snapping hip syndrome or osteonecrosis.
The sciatic nerve is a long nerve that runs all the down both sides of the body, beginning at the bottom two vertebra of the back, through the hip area, and all the way down the legs. The pain is usually unilateral with this disorder.
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So What Should You Do To Treat Lower Left Back Pain
In my experience, most people can find relief for their lower back pain on their own with the right treatments and prevention techniques.
If you do seek mainstream medical advice for your lower back pain, youll most likely have to undergo a physical exam as well as other tests, such as x-rays, ct scans or an MRI.
In most cases, doctors will prescribe a pill for pain relief or suggest you take over-the-counter pain relievers like NSAIDs. These drugs can have serious side effects.
For the vast majority of people with left lower back pain, there are safe and natural treatment options available.
The following list of treatments has helped thousands of people around the world escape lower left back pain and these methods could help you, too.