If your back pain is a nuisance right now, don’t try to grin and bear it. Leaving it unchecked can cause even worse pain that may be harder to treat down the line.
Knowing the warning signs of pervasive and dangerous back problems may save you a lot of headache (and backache!) in the future. So, how do you identify the types of pain you need to talk to your doctor about? Here are some ideas.
Conditions to watch for
Most people experience some kind of back pain occasionally, but you should bring up certain types of pain with your doctor. Spinal conditions, such as spinal compression and herniated and slipped disks, can lead to dangerous problems if untreated. Here are a few symptoms of a slipped disk:
● Back pain that travels to your arms and legs
● Pain that becomes worse with certain movements
● Pain that becomes worse at night
● Numbness in one side of the body
● Specific aching in the spot where the slipped disks exist
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor immediately. Besides being painful, untreated slipped disks can lead to incontinence and urinary dysfunction.
Another back condition that often goes untreated is spinal stenosis. This is caused when the spaces in your spine narrow, putting stress on nerves. There are two different types of spinal stenosis. The first is lumbar stenosis, which is when the pain is in the lower part of the back. The second, cervical stenosis, is when the pain is located near the neck.
Symptoms of spinal stenosis are similar to those of slipped disks. Numbness may radiate from the point of pain, down the arms and legs, and the condition may lead to bladder issues.
What to tell your doctor
A slipped disk is one of many potential back problems. Being able to describe the specific pain you feel can help determine what your condition might be and how to describe it to your health care professional.
For example, does the pain in your back come and go, or is it present all the time? Pain that comes and goes is called acute pain. Pain that is present all the time and doesn’t subside with movement or exercise is called chronic pain.
Try to pinpoint the location of your pain or its behavior. Lower back pain is treated differently than problems that might arise in your upper back or shoulders. Tailbone pain, referred to as coccydynia, is in its own class of treatment and can be the result of a long-ago injury or several other causes.
Knowing how to describe your symptoms will help your doctor formulate a comprehensive treatment plan.
What your doctor will tell you
If you don’t know whether your pain is because of a serious condition, make an appointment and talk things over with your doctor. Doing so will help you determine whether you need an MRI and give you options for feeling better.
Sonospine offers free MRI reviews to help you go over necessary information for treatment. The medical experts at Sonospine help create a treatment plan that avoids intrusive spinal surgeries. They consider diet, previous health conditions, lifestyle, and general wellness, and work with professionals across several disciplines to create a comprehensive and personalized plan for you.
Visit sonospinesurgery.com for more information and to make an appointment to talk about your back pain or call 888-95-SPINE (888-957-7463).