How Do I Know if My Back Pain is Serious?
Working long hours at a computer or engaging in physically strenuous activities can take a toll on your back. The resulting pain, soreness, and muscle tension may seem harmless and temporary at first. However, if your back pain lingers, you should see a doctor to make sure your condition isn’t serious.
When Should I Visit a Chiropractor for Back Pain?
Most people experience acute (short-term) back pain that lasts from a few days to a few weeks. This type of pain is relatively harmless because it resolves on its own and causes no residual loss of function. However, about 20 percent of people with acute back pain develop chronic (long-term) pain with persistent symptoms that never seem to dissipate.
To prevent an acute back injury from turning into a chronic condition, we recommend visiting a chiropractor for an evaluation if your back pain doesn’t subside after a week or two. Common back pain symptoms that require medical treatment include:
- Persistent muscle aches
- Pain that worsens with physical activity
- Stabbing pain
- Numbness, weakness, or tingling in one or both legs
What Causes Serious Back Pain?
Your back may hurt for many different reasons. Skeletal irregularities, injuries, degenerative diseases, and nervous system problems may all be to blame. Here are some common causes of serious back pain that often require attention from a chiropractor:
- Scoliosis is a condition that causes an irregular, side-to-side spinal curve. Most people are diagnosed in childhood or adolescence, and 80 percent of cases have no known cause. A chiropractor can help relieve scoliosis back pain and slow the progression of this disease.
- Traumatic injuries from falling, playing sports, or getting in a car accident can cause muscle sprains and strains, torn tendons and ligaments, and even ruptured or herniated discs. Medical treatment may be needed to avoid chronic pain.
- Osteoarthritis of the spine causes pain, swelling, stiffness, and immobility in the spinal joints. Proper care can alleviate pain, improve muscle strength, and restore range of motion.
- Spinal nerve compression causes muscle weakness and numbness. The best treatment is spinal disc decompression, which gently stretches the spine to restore the proper amount of space between each vertebra.
- Sciatica is a nerve condition caused by a foreign object pressing against the sciatic nerve that runs through the lower back and down the back of the leg. The resulting numbness, tingling, burning, or shock-like pain is likely to only worsen without medical intervention.
Where Can I Get Treatment for Serious Back Pain?
The best way to treat back pain is with early intervention. The sooner you act, the better your chances are of relieving pain through non-invasive treatment.
Effective Integrative Healthcare offers the solutions you’re looking for. We deliver long-lasting relief through restorative therapies such as chiropractic care, physical therapy, massage therapy, spinal decompression, and more. Contact us online or call 410-729-2200 today to schedule a free back pain consultation at one of our offices in Crofton, Millersville, or Lanham, MD.