Back Pain Warning Signs That May Signal a Trip to the Doctor

Back pain can occur from irregular sleeping positions, muscle strain, and past accident injuries. There are a lot more common occurrences of pain in the back and shoulder area as we age. While many normal and less concerning symptoms happen, there are also instances where a doctor should be involved.

If recurring pain makes it hard for you to go about your daily life, it’s essential to talk with a doctor and see if your back pain is a sign of a serious injury or illness. When considering either an appointment with the doctor or an emergency room visit, analyzing how urgent your needs are can save you money and time. Consider the following red-flag symptoms before making your decision to either see a physician or urgent care.

When Should I Go to the ER for Back Pain?

A visit to the ER means that your symptoms and pain require immediate assistance.

For those who suffer from intense pain or have other medical conditions, the emergency room is essential. When assessing an injury or illness, consider the following symptoms when deciding whether to wait for urgent care or make your way to the ER:

  • Inability to walk, stand, or control bowel movements
  • Intolerable pain in the lower back or legs
  • Pain following a previous injury, like a car accident, falling from stairs, or sports-related damage
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Previous medical conditions, like osteoporosis, arthritis, or recent immunosuppression

All these symptoms or medical conditions can play a role in the severity of your back pain and danger to your health.

Signs You Should Make a Trip to Urgent Care

Maybe your back pain is less severe than those above and you’re able to wait for urgent care. If your symptoms do not need immediate assistance but you’re unable to wait for an appointment with your primary care physician, urgent care is needed. Whether you’re unable to schedule a meeting or require an analysis of your symptoms, urgent care can aid in identifying the gravity of your situation.

Examine these symptoms to help determine if urgent care, rather than emergency services, is your best option:

  • Severe back pain that fluctuates with movements
  • Back pain that causes vomiting or nausea
  • An increase in pain that cannot be subdued with over-the-counter pain medication
  • Stiffness in the back
  • Pain that travels down the hip or leg

Urgent care is an excellent option for those in need of prompt medical care.

Signs You Need a Doctor’s Appointment For Back Pain

If you can continue with your daily life until a scheduled meeting with your primary physician, a regular doctor’s appointment is most likely the best choice. For this option, symptoms should be tolerable with the aid of pain medication and self-care tips—stretching, heat/cold therapy, or a therapeutic back massage.

An important quality to note is that back pain can quickly become chronic and is harder to treat. Ensure that you’re not pushing yourself to wait for a doctor’s appointment if you’re in dire need of emergency care.

Simple Ways to Prevent Back Injuries

In order to prevent a doctor’s appointment or urgent care trip, there are a few great ways to help keep you and your back happy, healthy, and safe. Consider incorporating the following into your daily routine:

  • Adjust your sleep position: A great way to support your back during sleep is by positioning pillows to align your spine.
  • Lift carefully: Make sure when you squat to lift something, you’re bending so your knees don’t go over your toes, and your back is upright instead of hunched.
  • Exercise those muscles: Your chest, core, and back muscles all play a role in your back health. Try some great at-home physical therapy exercises here.

Explore Your Medical Options with Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery

Back pain can make you feel exhausted and frustrated. Here at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery, we’re determined to have you feeling free of pain and excited for the day. With innovative state-of-the-art technology that allows for small incisions and minimal downtime, our procedures are tailored to your needs without wasting any of your precious time.

Our respected and dedicated medical team at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery will diagnose and create a detailed plan specifically for you and your needs. To learn more about how our leading orthopedic team in Florida can relieve your back pain, contact us today at (855) 853-6542.

COVID-19 UPDATE: Due to ongoing efforts to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in our communities, our office hours may vary. However, our physicians will be offering ONLINE appointments during this time to address your medical needs. To learn more about this exciting new service, contact our patient advocates today!