Back pain is a discomfort that the vast majority of people have to deal with at some point in their life, however in most cases it is not something serious and it can be treated at home with over-the-counter medication. Back pain will usually improve within a few weeks or months, but sometimes it may take longer and/or be down to something that is more serious. It can be challenging to know when you should seek medical advice so read on for a few tips about back pain and what the more serious conditions could be with this type of pain:
Relieving Back Pain
To reduce pain and speed up your recovery you should try to stay active and avoid long periods of rest as this can actually make the pain worse. There are also stretches and types of exercise that can be good for back pain, including swimming, walking and yoga. In addition to this, you should also be taking anti-inflammatory painkillers and use hot and cold compression packs for short-term relief.
When To Seek Help
You should aim to seek medical help if the pain does not improve within a few weeks, if it is severe and/or getting worse over time or if you are struggling to cope. You should also try to seek immediate help if you are suffering with other symptoms like abdominal pain, unexplained fever, bowel or bladder incontinence or loss/altered sensation in your groin or legs as this could be an indication of cauda equina syndrome, which is a rare but very serious condition. You should also seek help if the back pain starts after an injury so that they can check for damage to the spine.
When you visit your doctor they will most likely ask about your symptoms and give you a thorough examination along with scans if necessary. They may then refer you to a specialist who could offer treatments such as manual therapy, group exercises or rehabilitation. Spinal surgery could be a possibility if the pain does not respond to non-surgical treatments. If it is something more serious like cauda equina syndrome then urgent surgical intervention will be required in order to make a full recovery – if the doctor does not consider a rare condition like this then you could be entitled to compensation.
Failure to recognize the symptoms of a serious condition can have a lasting impact on your quality of life and, unfortunately, many symptoms of cauda equina syndrome are dismissed as chronic back pain. You could receive compensation for cauda equina syndrome with the help of a personal injury specialist – although this will not turn back time, this can go a long way to helping with quality of life and covering any costs that are a result of your pain.
Back pain is not normally serious and should go away over a few weeks, but it is important that more serious conditions and injuries are ruled out as these can have a devastating impact on your life. The key is to know what symptoms to look out for and to seek immediate help if you are exhibiting any of these red flag symptoms.