Back Pain: 5 Red Flags When It’s Serious

Why You Shouldn’t Ignore These Back Pain Signs and Symptoms

Back pain is something more common than one may think, but when does it become something more serious? While there are remedies to help with common back ailments, it’s important to know when to consult your doctor.

Shot of a young businessman suffering with back pain while working in an office

 

1. The Hurt Is Long Lasting

There are three different categories that agony from the back can fall into. These include acute, subacute, and chronic pain.

The difference between these types of pains center around the duration of time you’ve been experiencing these symptoms. Acute pain will generally last less than 6 weeks, which doesn’t raise the red flags that more prolonged pain raises.

If your pain lasts longer than 6 weeks, this is a red flag that needs to be addressed because 80%-90% of low back pain will resolve itself in less than 6 weeks. Pain that lasts longer could be a sign of a larger problem.

 

2. Your Age

People who are younger than 18 years old and older than 50 are more likely to have secondary causes of low suffering in the back. This could be an indication of an underlying disease or infection that requires further diagnosis.

Secondary causes of low hurt in the back can be found by looking at your medical and family history. You can also have a physical exam. These are considered red flags because the accurate diagnosis requires further testing an examination by a medical professional.

 

3. Uncommon Pain Features

You’ll find that low suffering in the back is a result of an irritated muscle as a result of heavy lifting or awkward sleeping. Low back hurt that does not raise red flags include the dull, ache you experience with movement, but lessens when you’re lying still.

It’s cause for concern when the pain continues into the night, keeping you from sleep, and doesn’t respond to typical pain treatments such as heat or ice. This could be a sign of a tumor or an infection. Another possibility is a herniated disk if you experience discomfort that is heightened when you cough or sit.

No matter what your head tells you, pain that continues into the night and persists even when lying still is a very concerning symptom that should be analyzed by a doctor.

 

4. Where Your Pain Is Located

There are varying types of back pain that includes pain that is brought on by a muscle or ligament strain. This restricts the pain primarily to the lower back that might run into your thighs or butt. If your pain continues below your knee, this is cause for concern as this could be a result of a herniated disk.

The location of your back pain will determine the severity of what the larger picture could be. If you’re experiencing pain all through your legs and not just contained to your back, it might be a good time to seek medical advice.

 

5. Systemic Complaints

If your back pain is accompanied by fevers, chills, or weight loss, this could be cause for concern. All of these suggest a bigger cause that could be infection or malignancy.

These health symptoms are even more concerning if accompanied by additional risk factors such as diabetes or recent infection. While all this is extremely rare, it is still cause for concern.

 

Finding Relief for Your Back Hurt

It’s important to know that while many symptoms you feel along with your back agony aren’t concerning, but it’s important to know the red flags so you can take appropriate action if necessary.

If you’re dealing with the initial symptoms of a hurting back, read more about how you can treat your case and find relief.

Florida Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Anthony P. Moreno received his Bachelor’s and Medical degrees from the University of Florida, where he graduated with honors. After that, he completed his orthopedic residency at Jackson Memorial Medical Center/University of Miami. Dr. Moreno has also completed a Spine Surgery Fellowship at Hahnemann/Penn. As a board-certified orthopedic spine surgeon, Dr. Moreno is also a member of the American College of Spine Surgery and speaker. For instance, he has done many presentations around the world on spinal surgical techniques. His knowledge and expertise can help with any of the most complex spinal cases. Read more about Dr. Moreno’s education, certification and credentials here.