You can experience low back pain at any time, even if you do not have any prior injury or risk factor. Though the pain can be severe, it is not often serious. However, there are specific scenarios that will call for immediate medical attention. This post will help you determine when to worry about your back pain and when not to.
Common Causes of Low Back Pain
Though several things can cause low back pain, some of the common causes include:
- Back injuries: A car accident or a bad fall can cause severe back pain.
- Arthritis of the Spine: This is the slow degeneration of your spinal joints.
- Herniated Discs: This scenario refers to when one of your discs comes out of its lining.
- Lifestyle Factors: Certain lifestyle factors like smoking, obesity, or strenuous physical activities can cause back pain.
When Not To Worry
Understandably, most people assume that the worse the back pain, the more severe the case is. However, the intensity of your pain is a poor indicator of the seriousness of the condition. Many non-dangerous conditions can cause significantly severe low back pain. For instance, while muscle cramps are excruciating, they are not something to worry about.
When To Seek Medical Attention
Two low back pain scenarios will call for immediate medical attention. We should note that experiencing these scenarios does not automatically mean that something is horribly wrong, but a medical consultation will help you make sure.
Consider seeking medical attention if you are experiencing numbness around your groin and buttocks. Such symptoms could be a sign of spinal cord compression or injury.
You should also see a doctor if you have low back pain that:
- Gets worse over time
- Persists for four weeks or longer
- Coincides with other symptoms like bladder problems, fever, or significant weight gain or weight loss