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When Should You Worry About Back Pain?

By Sara Butler

Back pain is incredibly common. So common that you have about an 80 percent of experiencing at some point in your long life. Back pain can be a scary experience, especially if you don’t know the cause, but it’s not a type of pain that is associated often with serious medical conditions. Alleviate the anxiety you feel over back pain by understanding which serious conditions it might indicate, and when you should seek help from your doctor of chiropractic.

The Red Flags

If persistent back pain has become a common occurrence for you, there are a few symptoms to be on the lookout for that may mean something more serious is going on, such as:

  • Numbness in the buttocks or groin
  • Equal pain or numbness in both legs
  • Inability to control your bladder
  • Worsening, persistent pain not associated with a specific activity that lasts six weeks or more

These symptoms are more serious if you experience them in association with:

  • Inability to control one foot called foot drop
  • Weakness in your legs
  • Chills and fever
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Generalized feeling of unwellness
  • Problems urinating

Rare But Serious Issues

Most of the causes of back pain, such as joint dysfunction or a herniated disc, are common and not considered medical emergencies. But back pain can be an indication of rare but serious conditions that do necessitate immediate medical intervention. If you suspect you may have one of these medical conditions, then seek medical help:

  • Cauda equina - This is when the lower part of the spinal cord is pinched, causing problems with bladder and bowel control, leg weakness, and other symptoms
  • Cancer - Tumors near the spinal cord can cause a general feeling of unwellness as well as pain
  • Infection - If you have an infection in your spinal cord, then it can cause pain and stiffness
  • An aneurysm - An aneurysm in your abdomen can press on the spine, causing pain

Common Conditions

Chances are that your back pain is the product of a more common problem. Most back pain experienced by people is found to be caused by:

  • Joint dysfunction
  • Joint restriction
  • Poor lifting technique
  • Injury from an accident
  • Car accident
  • Poor posture
  • Herniated disc

Your back pain is likely the type that will respond to chiropractic care, so get to your chiropractor so it can be managed and you can get on with your daily life!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Aurora, Colo.

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