For most people back pain is an inconvenience that will improve on its own, and they won’t need to see their doctor. However, there are cases where it’s important not to wait, and you should seek medical attention immediately.
The back really is amazing, isn’t it? Now, Dr. O’Connor, what causes back pain?
Well, Ty, the cause is not always clear, but most back pain tends to come from the working parts of the back, such as the muscles, ligaments, or small joints. Trauma can lead to back pain, for example, in instances of a sports injury, a sudden jolt such as during a car-accident, a fall, or simply “overdoing it” when working around the house or yard. In fact, for most people the actual cause of the back pain isn’t important because, with a few exceptions, the management of the pain is the same regardless of the cause.
What can you tell us about the discomfort that someone might experience?
Symptoms can range from muscle ache to a sharper pain, limited flexibility, limited range of motion, or an inability to stand straight. Now, in most cases, these symptoms pass within a few days or weeks. There are, however, cases where the pain becomes chronic, and a doctor should be consulted.
So, Dr. O’Connor, it sounds like for most people back pain is an inconvenience that will improve on its own, and they won’t need to see their doctor. Can you give us some guidance on when someone should seek medical attention for low back pain?
If have any of these problems within a few days of your back injury or the start of your back pain, contact your provider.
But there are cases where it’s important not to wait, and you should seek medical attention immediately. For example:
These symptoms can be the result of a more serious condition and so it’s important that you contact your provider.