How Serious is My Lower Back Pain?

by | Apr 20, 2018 | colorado spine doctor

Unfortunately, pain is a part of life. As we grow, age, move about, and work, our bodies develop tinges and tweaks that cause soreness, pinches, and aches that are a real pain in our backs (we couldn’t help the pun, forgive us).

However, all pain is not equal. Sometimes, your lower back pain can be something far more serious than an ache or a sore muscle. The problem is we’re not all spine doctors (but Dr. Kumar is, hint, hint) so how can we be sure that something bigger is or isn’t going on? We have the answers you need. Check out our article below to get a better idea if your lower back pain is the result of a long day’s work, or if something far more serious is going on.

How Bad Could It Really Be? That Depends.

What’s the dreadful thing about lower back pain? It doesn’t feel great. What’s the good thing about lower back pain? Very rarely is it incredibly ominous (that’s doctor-speak for exceptionally scary).

Even if you’re have chronic lower back pain – which is serious and should be examined – it’s not necessarily dangerous or life-threatening, thank goodness. Typically, if it’s an isolated case of chronic lower back pain, you’re definitely not dying. If those symptoms are in conjunction with other symptoms, though, it can be potentially serious, and – although it’s rare – lower back pain can be the root of dangerous conditions like spinal cord trauma, progressive disease, or cancer.

So, how can you tell if your back pain is a dangerous problem or if you just need to run to your spine doctor for a check-up? We have a few of the ominous symptoms below. If you experience any of these in conjunction with your lower back pain, we suggest scheduling an appointment immediately.

Incontinence and Numbness

Lower back pain can be a grave issue if it’s in conjunction with things like numbness or incontinence. Sometimes, when there’s a deeper issue with lower back pain, your groin and surrounding areas can suffer. Incontinence, difficulty using the restroom, and a numbness or tingling in the groin, hips, legs, or back areas are a sign that you should get an appointment with Dr. Kumar as soon as possible.

Following an Accident

If your lower back pain has shown up immediately following any kind of accident that may have been strong enough to fracture your spine (car accident, sports injury, etc.), then it’s likely you’re suffering from some kind of repercussion from your incident. If you haven’t been checked out by a doctor after your incident and your lower back pain won’t go away, it’s appointment time.

Persistence and Progression

Lower back pain happens to the best of us. Sometimes, like we said earlier, it’s simply because we’re humans with bodies that need time to recover from exertion. However, if your lower back pain won’t go away, this could be the result of something far more serious. If your back pain has remained consistent for more than 6 weeks, it’s probably time to go to your doctor. Remember, this doesn’t necessarily mean anything crazy is happening. You’re probably not dying. However, it does mean it’s time to surrender to the fact your back pain is a red flag or a concern. Additionally, if you notice your back pain is actually getting worse, it’s time to get with your doctor to determine what’s going on with your back pain.

Other Symptoms

When your lower back pain is in conjunction with other symptoms, it’s likely the pain is part of a bigger problem. In other words, don’t panic, but definitely get to the doctor as soon as you can. If you’re experiencing lower back pain as well as other things like upper back pain, spine pain, numbness, incontinence, urethra issues, rashes, difficult digestion, irritated eyes, and joint pain – you could be facing something far more serious than you realize.


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