If your back killing you, resisting the urge to diagnose yourself on the internet can be hard, even though you know there could be a million benign causes for your back pain.
Here we present some common red flags that indicate the need for further testing to determine whether your back pain is a symptom of a more serious underlying problem, or whether you are one of the 90% of patients with acute low back pain who will never determine the cause.
Warning Signs Your Back Injury is Serious
The presence of any of the following suggests you should look further into back injury treatment:
- Your pain has lasted more than 6 weeks
- You’re under age 18 or older than age 50
- Your pain radiates below the knee
- Your pain only occurs at night
- The pain never stops or diminishes in intensity, even when you’re lying still
- You have a history of cancer, neurological problems, or a compromised immune system
- You’ve had a major trauma or sustained a violent injury
- You have unexplained weight loss or gastrointestinal problems
- You’re experiencing incontinence
- You have fever, chills and night sweats
These symptoms can indicate the presence of a dangerous medical condition, such as a tumour, a bone fracture, a serious infection, a herniated disc, or even cauda equine syndrome, which is caused by nerve compression in the lower portion of the spinal canal.
The General Practitioner Diagnosis
If you go to your GP with a low back pain complaint, he or she will likely do a full medical evaluation to rule out underlying problems. This will include blood work and a physical examination that includes examining your abdomen, back, legs, reflexes, and even your rectum if necessary.
Beyond that, X-rays, MRIs and CT scans are commonly ordered to investigate causes of low back pain. But often these methods cannot detect what is known as mechanical pain: pulled muscles and stretched ligaments connected to the spinal vertebrae.
The Chiropractor Treatment
If you’re one of the vast majority of people with non-specific low back pain, should you still seek back injury treatment? Absolutely. At Proactive Chiropractic, we provide back injury treatment on a daily basis to patients in Charlotte who present with everything from ‘slipped’ and torn discs to back pain resulting from heavy lifting, improper posture and motor vehicle collisions.
We also treat other types of body pain, such as hip, ankle and foot pain, that affect proper function of the spine and central nervous system.
Once more serious causes for your low back pain have been ruled out, don’t just treat your symptoms with painkillers or anti-inflammatory drugs, or suffer stoically. Get to the root causes of your back pain, and eliminate the pain safely and effectively with chiropractic care.
Call Proactive Chiropractic for more information, or to make an appointment.