When back pain gets too much
If you suffer from back pain, there are red flags to watch out for. Signs that tell you enough is enough. The fact is, very few of us go throughout our adult life without any back pain.
According to statistics from the NHS, 8 out of 10 of us will suffer from back pain in our adult lives.
But at what point does discomfort become a real concern? What are the red flags? It will vary from person to person of course. But here are some insights that can help.
There are different types of back pain
It helps to think of back pain as a symptom. It is an indication that there is an underlying issue. The triggers are often many and varied.
The possible list of causes is endless. But some of the most common include the following:
- Inflamed or impinged nerves
- Damage or deterioration of spinal discs
- Strained or stretched ligaments in the spine
- Injured or strained muscles
- Referred pain from infection to vital organs
Putting your back pain into context
Obviously, all of us have different pain thresholds. Some people will put up with a certain level of discomfort and just crack on regardless. Others will let the whole office know about the slightest twinge.
However, whichever category you fall into, there are certain questions you should ask yourself.
First, think about how long the problem has persisted. Most back pain, if not caused by a serious underlying cause, should clear up within 4 to 6 weeks. Back pain that endures for longer than this is a potential red flag.
Next, consider how restrictive the discomfort is. If it is causing you to move around a little more gingerly, that’s probably ok. But if it has reached a stage where it is restricting your day to day activity, don’t be a martyr. It’s another sign you need to seek some advice or treatment.
And there are some other instances in which you need to be extra vigilant. For example, if you have a fever associated with the pain. Or if you have started losing weight without trying.
And finally, consider if the problem coincides with recent trauma, or bladder or bowel problems.
What to do if you notice back pain red flags
First things first. You need to get the problem diagnosed properly. As we have alluded to already, the possible triggers are many and varied. If the condition is significantly disabling, it’s worth visiting your GP to get a better understanding of what’s going on. You need to rule out any serious complications.
Provided you don’t need surgery, the next stage is to seek out some hands-on therapy. A good therapist will help to ensure that your recovery is swift and thorough. And crucially, they can help with a process of rehabilitation that vastly reduces the chances of the problem returning again.
For a more detailed assessment of your back pain issues, feel free to contact us. We’re happy to help.