Low back pain is a disorder that involves the back muscles, nerves, and bones. The pain can be a dull, constant ache, or an abrupt sharp feeling. Acute low back pain lasts for less than six weeks; sub-chronic pain lasts for six to twelve weeks, while chronic pain lasts for over twelve weeks. Treatment of low back pain in Austin optimally targets a diagnosed cause.
If you are experiencing some form of back pain, it’s likely that you are wondering whether you should worry about your symptoms. The information given in this article can help you establish whether your low back pain is serious.
Signs of Serious Low Back Pain
Serious pain in the lower back requires medical attention. Symptom severity is not the sole indicator of serious low back pain. For instance, pain from a flexed back muscle may be profound, but it typically dwindles after a few days of home care. On the other hand, lumbar degenerative disc disease may lead to moderate pain in the lower back that isn’t necessarily deep. However, the degenerative problem can become worse if the proper treatment is not administered.
Generally, if your low back pain fails to diminish within one to two weeks, you ought to see a doctor. In most cases, the pain may not be a medical emergency, but a physician can give you an accurate diagnosis and prescribe the proper treatment. An effective treatment plan will deal with your symptoms and the underlying cause.
You should also visit a doctor straight away if your low back pain is accompanied by the following symptoms:
- Severe abdominal pain
- Strange fever
- Loss of control over bladder or bowel movements
- Increasing leg weakness
Moreover, if low back pain starts after an injury, seeking prompt medical care is crucial to check for spinal damage.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Low Back Pain
To diagnose low back pain, a physician will start by gathering your medical history, current symptoms, and lifestyle details. A physical examination will also be performed to evaluate nerve function and mobility in the back. The doctor may ask you to hold specific positions or make certain movements to check if they inflict or make the pain worse. At times, diagnostic imaging tests, like x-ray, may be done to check the status of your spine.
After performing a thorough diagnosis, the doctor will prescribe a course of treatment. Non-surgical techniques are recommended first for low back pain treatment, and they include:
- Physical Therapy: It helps to strengthen muscles, mobilize joints, and minimize painful spine movements.
- Massage Therapy: It works to diminish muscular tension and spasms that add to low back pain.
- Chiropractic Adjustments: A chiropractor manipulates the spine manually in order to ease pressure and tension.
- Prescription Pain Drugs: Pain medications reduce back pain by altering how the brain receives signals of pain.
- Epidural Steroid Injections: The injections convey an aesthetic or steroid straight into the painful region, which helps to temporarily relieve severe low back pain.
If non-surgical treatments do not relieve the pain, spinal surgery may be required. The surgery is usually guided by several factors, including back pain intensity, the effect of the operation on your daily life, and the kind of surgery that can be performed.