Back Pain is everywhere! Most of us will likely experience it sometime during our lifetime and many of us will never know why. In fact, for most of us, when we see our doctor, we may be given pain relievers and told not to worry about it. But when SHOULD we worry about it? There are signs that doctors are trained to look for. Thinking about whether or not you have any of these will help you decide if and when it’s time to see your doctor.
Signs your back pain needs attention
One of the most important factors to think about is, is there anything else going on? Things like fevers, night sweats, loss of appetite, and weight loss (when you haven’t been trying) are all important clues that your doctor will need to know about. Are you having difficulty with bowel or bladder control? Did you suffer from any recent trauma or surgery?
As a Rheumatologist, I look at back pain through a different lens. I work in a world of inflammatory back pain. This is back pain caused by systemic inflammation that attacks certain structures within the spine and pelvis.
This is very different than the run of the mill back pain, even if many of the symptoms can seem similar. Inflammatory back pain tends to be more pronounced in the mornings, often times taking patients an hour or more to get moving comfortably. It can also be associated with a lot of other symptoms that may seem unrelated, like rashes, diarrhea or eye pain and redness. I get some pretty strange looks when I ask patients about diarrhea when they’ve come to see me about back pain!
There’s much more information in the video above. I encourage you to use this information as inspiration to think about your own pain and prepare for if or when you need to make your doctor’s appointment.
Let me know your thoughts!
In good health,