Lower back pain is common, often the result of daily living. Perhaps you lifted something the wrong way, worked a little too hard, or maybe spent time sitting in a chair with poor support. In many cases, you can rest, take some over-the-counter pain medication, and you’re fine again in a few days. For the majority of back pain issues, this is a typical progression. Even if you have a more major issue, such as a herniated disc, your body often takes care of the issue with rest and time.

However, pain is often your body’s warning mechanism, alerting you to a more serious condition, so routinely ignoring back pain – particularly if it’s recurring or accompanied by key symptoms – is generally not a good practice. You could be inadvertently overlooking indicators of a larger problem, something beyond simple overexertion. Let’s examine some of the reasons why you shouldn’t always shrug off back pain.

Radiating pain

Back pain that also features sensations in other places is potentially a dangerous sort of pain. These symptoms typically accompany sciatica, a common back pain problem that often creates pain, tingling or numbness along the nerve’s path. However, there are rare, but serious, complications associated with sciatic nerve inflammation. Your bladder and bowel functions could be affected. Any prolonged irritation of a nerve root, like the sciatic, could result in permanent nerve damage.

Persistent pain

Treating back pain at home when you’re aware of the reason for the pain can be a natural solution, particularly if you’re familiar with the situation from past experience and it comes down to tiredness and overuse of back muscles. However, if the pain intensifies or lasts longer than a few days, it becomes a “safe, not sorry” situation. Consider any pain that persists longer than you expect to be a new condition, and have it checked.

Type of injury

Back pain that arises from long hours of hard work may be expected or at least understandable. Pain that results from awkward or sudden movement could suggest tears or overstretching of tendons and ligaments. Pain from impact may also suggest some sort of structural damage. Sometimes, something as innocuous as tying your shoe or bending to pick up something can create an injury causing back pain. These types of back pain may heal spontaneously, but they could also indicate a more serious condition.

Localized pain

Not all back pain is related to the musculoskeletal system. There are other conditions that result in pain that you may mistake for muscle spasms or other back pain. Kidney stones and gall bladder attacks may present symptoms that localize in your back. Usually, the nature of these conditions changes quickly into a form that isn’t like musculoskeletal pain, so you’ll soon suspect it’s not typically back-related. However, you’ll need medical attention for these conditions.

When to visit Keystone Health & Wellness

There’s no need to cope with lower back pain. It can impact your mood and daily living, lowering your quality of life. A visit to Keystone Health & Wellness to explore the causes and get relief from lower back pain is never a bad idea. Although you may be suffering from a mild and easily treated problem, why suffer? Call or click to request an appointment.