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KNOW WHEN BACK PAIN IS A MEDICAL EMERGENCY

Certain back pain symptoms are a sign of a medical emergency that may become life threatening or result in disability without prompt attention from an experienced physician.

Most types of back pain can be successfully managed over a patient’s lifetime through a combination of non-surgical treatments, such as exercise and pain medications, and possibly surgery.  However, here are some symptoms require you to seek medical attention as quickly as possible:

  • Progressive leg weakness and/or loss of bowel or bladder control- may be caused by a compressed nerve in the lower spine.
  • Unexplained weight loss accompanied by pain and neurological impairment - Rapid, unexplained weight loss can indicate a serious medical condition, such as cancer. For example, a tumor that is lodged in or around the spine would typically result in pain in the neck or back or back pain that does not diminish with rest.
  • Acute, severe stomach pain along with low back pain such that the patient can not stand straight- blood vessels may rupture and cause internal bleeding.
  • Fever with increased pain which does not respond to common fever reducers – may indicate infection.

Fortunately, the vast majority of patients with back pain will not experience any of the above symptoms. However, if these or any other unanticipated symptoms arise, the wisest course of action is to immediately consult with a doctor.

Check out this article for more detailed information