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Back Pain

Back pain is one of the most common reasons people go to the doctor or miss work, and it is a leading cause of disability worldwide. Most people have back pain at least once in their lifetime, which will generally go away on its own.  Sometimes, back pain can be a symptom of a more serious problem.

Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of back pain can include:

  • Muscle ache
  • Shooting or stabbing pain
  • Pain that radiates down your leg
  • Pain that worsens with bending, lifting, standing or walking
  • Pain that improves with reclining

When to see a doctor

Most back pain gradually improves with home treatment and self-care, usually within a few weeks. If yours doesn't improve in that time, see your doctor.

In rare cases, back pain can signal a serious medical problem. Seek immediate care if your back pain:

  • Causes new bowel or bladder problems
  • Is accompanied by fever
  • Follows a fall, blow to your back or other injury

Contact a doctor if your back pain:

  • Is severe and doesn't improve with rest
  • Spreads down one or both legs, especially if the pain extends below the knee
  • Causes weakness, numbness or tingling in one or both legs
  • Is accompanied by unexplained weight loss

Also, see your doctor if you start having back pain for the first time after age 50, or if you have a history of cancer, osteoporosis, steroid use, or excessive drug or alcohol use.

Make an appointment

Please contact the Comprehensive Spine Center to learn more or make an appointment.

 

Source: Mayo Clinic