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Back Pain Could Indicate a Serious Medical Condition

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Image of Applying pressure to ease the pain. Shot of a physiotherapist examining a senior patient with back pain in her office. Back pain affects millions of people, and it can have a debilitating effect on a person's life. It can make even daily activities difficult and leave you feeling helpless and overwhelmed. The worst part is that back pain can be difficult to diagnose, which means many sufferers don't get the help they need in time. It's easy to feel like back pain just has to be accepted as a fact-of-life, but that doesn't have to be true anymore. At A Family Chiropractic Center, we specialize in back pain diagnosis and treatment. Our experienced team of chiropractors will work with you to develop an individualized plan for managing your back pain so you can lead a healthier, more active lifestyle. Stop letting back pain control your life - come to A Family Chiropractic Center.

Back pain is always inconvenient and painful. However, it’s not always part of a bigger, more serious condition. Most types of back pain need treatment, but they aren’t necessarily serious or life threatening. Yet, occasionally your pain may be an indication of a much more serious condition.

At A Family Chiropractic Clinic in Denton, Texas we have experience treating all kinds of back pain. It can be difficult to distinguish between normal pain and pain that could indicate a serious problem. In these uncommon situations it’s important to seek medical attention immediately. Some of these serious issues can quickly become life threatening or result in permanent disability. We want to help you learn how to identify your back pain so you can seek immediate medical attention if needed.

Symptoms of Serious Back Pain Conditions

When you experience back pain, pay close attention to any other symptoms that you may also be experiencing. These additional symptoms may provide a clue as to why you are in pain. For example, experiencing a sudden loss of bowel or bladder control could be caused by an issue with the nerves in your lower spine. Cauda equine syndrome presents with back pain, loss of bowel or bladder control, and progressive weakness and numbness in the hips and legs. The loss of sensation could also make it difficult for you to walk. If you experience these additional symptoms it’s extremely important that you seek medical attention right away. If you don’t seek treatment for this condition then it could result in paralysis and permanent nerve damage.

Another indication that you may be suffering from a bigger condition is when back pain is accompanied by unexplained rapid weight loss. Sudden, inexpiable weight loss or a loss of appetite can indicate a serious medical condition. You will want to discuss your symptoms with your doctor so they can rule out any serious problems such as cancer or a spinal tumor.

Other symptoms of a spinal tumor include back or neck pain that presents with weakness or numbness in the extremities. Often times this type of back pain does not get better with rest. It also tends to be worse at night than it is during the day. Many patients who experience this back pain issue are woken up by the pain at night. Other symptoms that you should note include nausea, vomiting, fever, or chills. Your doctor will order blood tests and a CT scan to help identify the cause of the symptoms.

Sever Back Pain Accompanied by Abdominal Pain

Most forms of lower back pain are not accompanied by abdominal pain. However, many abdominal disorders can cause back pain. If you experience sudden lower back pain that is not due to an obvious trauma or injury then it could be a symptom of a larger problem. You’ll want to seek medical attention right away for severe abdominal pain accompanied by severe back pain. This could be an indication of an abdominal aortic aneurysm. This is a medical emergency and you will need to seek medical attention immediately if you are experiencing constant sharp and crushing pain in your abdomen and lower back. The pain will be so severe that you likely won’t be able to stand up straight. If the blood vessel ruptures then internal bleeding can occur.

Back Pain Accompanied by Fever

If your back pain also presents with a fever of higher than 101 degrees then this could indicate an infection. Spinal infections can occur in patients with a weakened immune system or following surgery. While spinal infections are quite rare, they can lead to serious problems. An abscess can compress nerve structures in your spine and greatly impair motor function. This can result in paraplegia or quadriplegia depending on the location of the abscess. If you are experiencing back pain with a fever you’ll want to schedule an appointment with a medical professional. Most of these types of infections can be treated successfully when caught early.

If you think that you may have a spinal infection you may also consider what may have caused it. A post-surgical infection will occur in about 1% of healthy patients. This number increases in patients with other health conditions. Infections will usually develop one to two weeks after the surgical procedure. A fever greater than 101 degrees, redness and pain around the incision, and discharge from the wound could also indicate infection.

A bone infection is also a possibility when you have back pain along with a fever. This type of infection is possible after a colonoscopy or cystoscopy. Other factors that can contribute to the likelihood of infection involve intravenous drug abuse, extended steroid use, or dental surgery. All of these activities have the potential to introduce bacteria to the blood stream.

When You Should Seek Medical Attention for Back Pain

Most people who experience back pain do not suffer from a greater underlying condition. However, it is important to consider all of your symptoms. By looking at the whole picture you will have a better idea if you should seek medical attention. If you do experience any of the symptoms above or anything that concerns you, you should speak with your medical professional. It’s better to err on the side of caution when in doubt.

If you have any questions about back pain, please contact A Family Chiropractic Clinic in Denton, Texas at (940) 566-0000.