Although Healthpointe does not offer emergency care, we wanted to write a post to help readers identify signs of serious condition associated with back pain.
However, Healthpointe does offer consultations by spine specialists who are ready to assist you when necessary. Call 888-719-8448 to talk to a Healthpointe doctor or walk in to any of our location, including our Ontario office near, Upland, Rancho Cucamonga, Montclair, and Chino.
What are the Signs of Danger in Back Pain?
Normally, slight to moderate back pain does not necessitate prompt emergency care as it frequently originates from a strained or pulled muscle, other soft-tissue injury, or improper movement of the spinal joints.
However, there are some symptoms associated with back pain that require prompt physical attention. We wanted to let you know the top three signs of back pain that can cause disability or even become fatal.
If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the following three symptoms along with back pain, seek medical attention right away! Time should not be wasted at all due to the dangers that lurk around the corner of these health issues. Pay close attention as this may save your life!
- Weakness in the Lower Limbs, especially Progressive Weakness and/or Incontinence of Urine or Feces.
This is not an exaggeration. Weakness in the lower limbs that goes untreated has led to serious incapacitating injuries and disabilities.
If you were to experience weakness, especially progressive, in the legs, feet, crotch or hips area that causes difficulty in walking, then seek immediate medical care!
These symptoms may be related to Cauda Equina Syndrome, which is a medical condition that originates from the severe compression of the lower spinal column’s nerves.
It is saddening to say, but this condition will frequently not improve. These are reasons to seek emergency care, especially incontinence.
- Unexplained Weight Loss or Loss of Appetite
Whenever there is an unexplained rapid weight loss or loss of appetite, be cautious. These symptoms may be signs of cancer. It must be emphasized that there frequently are other underlying medical conditions responsible for the rapid weight loss; nevertheless, it is best to visit your nearest medical doctor for a check-up right away.
When coupled with back pain, doctors will consider the possibility of a spinal tumor lodged in or around the spine. Symptoms associated with spinal tumors include:
- Pain in the neck or back, which can be followed or coupled with neurological problems like numbness and weakness in the arms and legs as well as changes in normal bowel and bladder movements;
- Pain in the back that worsens at night and even with rest;
- Loss of appetite, rapid weight loss, vomiting, nausea, fever, and being full to early
- Nodules near umbilicus (belly button) or neck
Any combination of these symptoms necessitates immediate evaluation by a trained physician. Keep in mind (this may save someone’s life) that early detection of symptoms as serious as cancer usually means more effective treatment and a better prognosis, so be sure to visit an emergency room as fast as possible.
- Severe, Continuous Pain in the Abdomen and Lower Back
It is no secret that symptoms associated with lower back pain also tend to be localized in the spine and radiate down the back or arms for many spinal conditions, including numbness or tingling. However, many abdominal disorders can also cause back pain as well. This means that the pain extends from the abdomen to the low back, but this is not something to overlook.
Acute lower back pain without obvious physical trauma or movement are frequently a kidney stone or infection. However, it may also be a symptom of abdominal aortic aneurysm, a condition characterized by the enlargement of a large artery in the abdomen. When the blood vessel ruptures, it can cause internal bleeding and, if not treated immediately, death.
Symptoms to look out for are an unremitting, severe, and sharp pain in the abdomen and/or middle or lower back that feels like someone is crushing these areas. Such is the severity of the pain that standing up straight becomes impossible. If you were to ever experience this, call the paramedics (911) immediately.
Again, time is of the essence, so get to the emergency room ASAP if you were to experience any of these three symptoms associated with back pain!
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Roman Shulze