Back pain is one of the most common reasons for medical visits. In many cases, back pain is “non-specific”, meaning that the pain results from a muscle strain of some kind. This kind of pain usually resolves itself and the discomfort can be managed with over-the-counter pain medication. In some cases, however, back pain can be a real cause for concern. Here are some back pain red flags:
- Pain that has not improved after 4 weeks.
- Pain that goes down the leg especially when there is weakness.
- Pain that does not get better even when lying down.
- Pain that is accompanied by loss of bowel or bladder control.
- Pain associated with fever, weight loss, or a history of cancer.
- Pain that results from a fall or some other type of trauma.
Contact your doctor immediately if you experience these symptoms.