A very serious and common problem
In fact, almost 80 percent of adults in the United States will encounter some form of back pain in their lifetimes. Back pain can range from a dull, constant ache to a sudden sharp pain. Acute back pain comes on suddenly and usually lasts from a few days to a few weeks. Back pain is called chronic if it lasts for more than three months.
There are many reasons for back pain, including:
- Poor posture – the spine has three natural curves, which enable it to absorb shock, provide flexibility and allow for normal movements. If you change the natural curves of the spine, stress can be put on the spine.
- Poor body mechanics – Unwanted stress can be added to the spine when standing, sitting, lifting, sleeping incorrectly or lying down.
- Poor physical conditions – Conditions such as being overweight or having weakness in the muscles can affect the spine.
- Accidents – Injuries from sports, falls or vehicle accidents can impact the spine.
- Normal wear and tear – Caused by aging, this normal wear and tear can cause the discs to wear out, bulge or rupture. Bone spurs may form or cartilage between the vertebrae may wear away leaving the joints without the normal cushion.
When should you see a doctor for back pain?
In most cases, it is not necessary to see a doctor for back pain because pain usually goes away with or without treatment. However, a trip to the doctor is probably a good idea if you experience any of the following:
- Numbness or tingling
- Severe pain that doesn't improve with medication and/or rest
- Pain after a fall or an injury
It is also important to see your doctor if you have pain along with any of the following problems:
- Trouble urinating
- Weakness, pain or numbness in your legs
- Unintentional weight loss
These symptoms could signal a serious problem that requires more immediate treatment.
For referral to a Rose Spine Institute physician, please call 303-320-2578.