Because back pain is so common, most people have a tendency to opt for a little rest, over-the-counter medications, or tried-and-true home remedies when they experience it. Muscle strain is a common source of spine-related aches and pains that often goes away within a fairly short time. Still, the spine is a complex structure, which means there are many potential sources of the symptoms you may be experiencing, and it’s not always easy to decide when it’s time to seek input from a professional. However, there are some kinds of back pain, such as the three discussed below, that definitely shouldn’t be ignored.
A fever is usually a sign of an infection, so you’ll want to seek medical assistance ASAP to find out what the source of your infection is. Infections in the spine can be especially serious, since the spinal cord and brain may be affected. Back pain accompanied by fever could also be related to an epidural abscess, which produces symptoms that could include:
Lumbar (lower) back pain is a fairly common complaint, but it can become serious enough to require immediate medical attention if you’re experiencing an inability to control your bladder functions or bowel movements. This type of pain is usually a sign that a bladder nerve is being compressed, possibly by a damaged disc or vertebra or a spinal growth, and treatment may require medical intervention such as artificial disc replacement surgery. Santa Monica residents should be aware that if not treated, a loss of bladder control or function could contribute to the following problems:
Spine-related pain that includes radiating symptoms is typically a sign of nerve compression. “Radiating” pain refers to discomfort felt away from the source along the nerve’s path. A common example of this type of back pain is what may be experienced if the sciatic nerve that originates in lower back is irritated, causing pain extending from the lower back into the buttocks, thighs, and legs.
Radiating pain, especially in the lower body, may also cause you to compensate by adjusting your walking patterns. However, if you habitually do this, you may put too much stress on other parts of your body, and you could end up with entirely new problems, such as: