It’s easy to shrug off back pain, thinking it’s just a normal part of aging or it’ll just go away on its own. That might be true to some extent: your chances of having back pain increase as you age, and most cases of back pain either resolve on their own or subside after a few days or weeks of self-care measures.
However, it’s also worth noting that there are cases of back pain that require proper medical intervention, as they could be a sign of an injury or an underlying medical condition. Listed below are some signs that warrant a visit to a back pain doctor:
Severe, Sharp Back Pain
Sharp or severe back pain denotes an injury, possibly a serious one (such as a fracture) or a problem with any of your internal organs. The level of pain you have indicates the severity of your injury/condition.
Back Pain That Spreads to Your Lower Extremities
If you have back pain that spreads to your lower extremities and is accompanied by a tingling sensation or numbness, you may have a condition referred to as sciatica. This occurs when the sciatic nerve, which extends from your lower back through your hips and buttocks and down each of your legs, is irritated or compressed.
Albeit many cases of sciatica go away on their own, those that involve severe pain and loss of feeling in the lower extremities definitely require medical attention. When left untreated, they can lead to nerve damage.
Bladder and Bowel Control Problems
If your back pain is accompanied by bladder and bowel control problems, see a back pain doctor immediately. It is a symptom of a serious medical condition referred to as cauda equina syndrome, which occurs when there is severe compression of the nerve roots surrounding the spinal cord.
An untreated herniated disc (when the disc in your spine slips out) and spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal) are common causes of cauda equina syndrome.
Chronic Back Pain
If your back pain has dogged you for weeks despite treatment, you should consider seeing a back pain doctor. Chronic back pain is a symptom of disc herniation or rupture, spinal stenosis, spinal cord injury, arthritis, degenerative disc disease, and other chronic—and potentially serious—condition.
Other Signs That Require a Visit to a Back Pain Doctor
See a back pain doctor if your pain occurs after an accident or injury and/or is accompanied by:
- Unintentional weight loss
- Swelling or redness on your back
Back Pain Doctor in Watertown, NY
At North Country Orthopaedic Group, our board-certified orthopedic surgeons are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of the full spectrum of musculoskeletal conditions, such as those that are culprits in back pain.
Depending on the cause of your back pain, we usually exhaust all conservative treatment modalities before recommending surgery. We offer interventional pain management approaches (such as nerve blocks, cortisone shots, etc.) and on-site physical therapy services. We will perform a thorough assessment of your condition and craft a treatment plan that best suits your needs. If surgery happens to be the only recourse, you can trust in our expertise to deliver the best outcome possible.
To schedule a consultation with one of our back pain doctors, dial (315) 782-1650. Alternatively, you may fill out our appointment request form.