When is Back Pain an Emergency?

When is Back Pain an Emergency?

Apr 01, 2021

You can develop sudden pain in your lower back while exercising or when you lift heavy objects without proper protection. This kind of lower back pain can clear after a while and home remedies will suffice in easing the discomfort.

However, there are times when you may need a trip to an emergency room for back pain near you. It is important to know when to seek urgent medication or treat back pain at home. In this post, we highlight some of the reasons you may want to visit an ER near you for treatment.

When to Visit an ER?

You need to visit an emergency room in 76548 if you have:

1. Fever

Whenever you have high body temperatures, it is usually a sign that the body is trying to fight a virus or a bacterial infection. Fever activates your immune system and makes it hard for the virus or bacteria to survive. Therefore, if you have back pain accompanied by fever, it is an indication that you have an infection in the spine. Addressing the infection is vital to preserving the condition of your spine and your overall health.

It is worth noting that the cold flu can at times cause back pain and a slight rise in body temperature. After the flu clears, the back pain will too. However, if the back pain persists and you develop an unresponsive fever, it is time to seek urgent treatment.

2. Bladder and bowel incontinence 

Sometimes you may develop cauda equine syndrome which causes the compression of the cauda equine sac nerves that are located at the base of the spinal cord. This causes lower back pain but also affects the nerves that control the bladder. As these nerves are squeezed, you will not able to control urine or bowel. If you have severe back pain with incontinence, get to an ER in Harker Heights TX, for urgent treatment.

3. Recent injury or trauma 

An accident or trauma could cause fractures and compression of the spine. This can lead to rupture of the intervertebral disc, causing pain. When you visit the emergency room, an x-ray may be done. Whether or not the doctor will do an MRI for back pain when you visit the emergency room will depend on the severity of the pain. These tests are done to check for fractures. If none is present, medication and physical therapy will get rid of the pain.

4. Night pain 

Back pain usually feels better when you rest. However, if you cannot find any comfortable position to sleep in, you may have a serious condition. It could be a sign of sprain, tumor, or degeneration, and you need immediate treatment to prevent other complications.

5. Numbness and tingling 

If you are experiencing back pain with numbness or tingling sensation in the legs, it could be a sign of an injury to one or more lumbar nerves or irritation. Spinal damage, herniated disk, spinal stenosis can also cause numbness and tingling.

Keep in mind that prolonged irritation of the spine can cause disabilities. It is, therefore, important to seek immediate treatment.

What to Do to Prevent Back Pain in the Future?

Back pain is common but preventable. You can reduce the chances of a recurrence using these tips:

  • Reduce weight and get regular exercise

Excess body weight can put pressure on the spine and lower back causing pain. Losing weight is one of the strategies for reducing back pain frequency.

Regular exercises are an important part of back pain recovery. The muscles around your spine support the back, and strengthening them will provide better support.

  • Stretch regularly

The lumbar stretch helps to relax muscle spasms and also keeps your back stronger. Stretching every day will your back muscles.

  • Practice safe lifting method

It is important to lift a heavy object with the proper posture. When lifting, don’t bend over at the waist, instead lift by bending the knees and hips. Also, keep your back straight and head upright.

  • Improve your posture

Bad posture when standing or sitting can cause stress on the back muscles causing back pain. Practice proper posture by sitting straight and keep your knees lower than your hips.

Take Action!

Visit Express ER (Waco) if your back pain does persist for a couple of days and is accompanied by other symptoms such as fever.

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