About 65 million Americans report recent episodes of back pain. In many cases, back pain can impact your mobility and quality of life. It could impact your ability to complete certain everyday activities.
In fact, 16 million adults experience chronic back pain. As the sixth most costly condition in the US, health care costs reach over $12 billion a year. If chronic back pain is impacting your life, consider visiting a spine specialist right away.
Not sure if you’re ready to schedule an appointment? Here are seven signs you need to visit a specialist right away.
Reading this guide will ensure you seek the help you need. Seeking immediate help will allow you to avoid complications. You might even avoid back surgery and expensive medical bills leaf.
Keep reading to discover the top signs you need to visit a spine expert right away!
1. Difficulty Moving
Your severe neck or back pain could cause restriction in movement. You might experience numbness, pain, and other sensations as well.
In fact, a serious neck or back problem could prevent you from moving as much as you want on a daily basis. You might find it’s difficult to bend over or twist sideways. Moving even a small amount can also cause extreme pain flare-ups.
You might start to notice your movements are limited to:
As a result, you might prefer to lie down. Unfortunately, lying down could aggravate your symptoms.
You might experience difficulty moving your arms or legs, too. If you’re struggling to move, it’s possible you have a disc problem. Don’t wait to seek help or treatment.
Beginning treatment immediately after the onset of your symptoms could give you a higher chance of a full recovery.
Some patients feel they can move or walk for a while, only to experience pain for an extended period of time afterward.
If these symptoms sound familiar, consider visiting a spine specialist right away. A specialist can help you develop a customized treatment plan. They’ll help you find relief for your chronic neck and back pain.
2. Tingling, Numbness, or Burning
If you recently began experiencing tingling, numbness, or burning sensations in the arms or legs, it might indicate a bigger problem. The sensation might extend below the knee or elbow.
It’s possible you have a degenerative disc disease or disc problem. You could have a herniated disc instead.
If you’re experiencing limb pain and numbness, it could also indicate you have a pinched nerve. This condition is also known as cervical radiculopathy. If you have this condition, your cervical vertebrae are likely compressed.
Damages to the nerve roots might develop, which can cause considerable pain. Your doctor will likely recommend a cervical spine CT scan if your symptoms persist.
In order to manage a full recovery, make sure to seek medical attention right away. Schedule an appointment with a spine surgeon or back specialist immediately. Remember, the sooner you seek treatment, the more likely you’ll recover.
3. Loss of Bladder or Bowel Control
Seek help for your back pain if you begin losing control over your bladder or bowel movements. Your symptoms might indicate you have a serious spinal injury. You likely need to visit the Emergency Room as soon as possible.
Loss of bladder or bowel control could indicate your spinal cord is injured. It’s possible the spinal cord can’t send the correct signals through your nerves. It can’t control your bowels and bladder as a result.
Otherwise, it’s possible you have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Symptoms can also include cramps.
Damaged nerves can also affect your digestion and abdominal sensation. Numbness could indicate even more intense spinal cord damage.
Don’t wait to visit a back pain specialist to seek treatment.
4. Weight Loss
If working out is causing you severe back pain, stop working out right away. Instead, discuss your symptoms with your fitness coach or trainer. It’s possible they need to make an adjustment to your current regimen.
It’s possible the weight loss is due to inadequate nutrition, which can lead to low bone density. Try eating calcium-rich foods such as salmon, green leafy vegetables, and dairy products.
Otherwise, visit a back specialist. They can determine the underlying cause of your sudden weight loss. Then, they can determine the best course of treatment based on your needs.
5. Back and Neck Pain
Chiropractic techniques are 40% more effective than medical care for treating lower back pain. In fact, visiting a specialist regularly can reduce pharmaceutical costs by up to 85%.
If you’re suffering from severe back and neck pain, don’t wait to seek treatment. Pain indicates there’s a problem with your bones, muscles, or system.
Acute back pain indicates tingling, stinging, and stabbing sensations that are short-lasting. The pain will usually last only days or weeks before subsiding.
Chronic pain, on the other hand, can last for weeks or even months.
Don’t wait for your pain to last that long. Instead, visit a spine surgeon right away.
Keep track of your symptoms before visiting a specialist.
6. Impaired Breathing
You might find it’s difficult to breathe naturally if you were recently in an accident or sustained an injury. If you notice changes to your breathing patterns, seek help right away.
You might also experience remote pain and bone problems along with this symptom as well.
7. Severe Trauma
If you experience pain after a severe trauma (such as a car accident, fall, or sporting accident) seek help. A spine specialist can determine the true extent of your injuries. They can evaluate your condition to determine if you have a herniated disc.
They might schedule an X-ray to accurately assess the full extent of your condition.
Straighten Up: 7 Signs It’s Time to See a Spine Specialist ASAP
Don’t wait to seek help. If these problems sound familiar, consider visiting a spine specialist right away. Visiting a back specialist will ensure you begin immediate treatment.
Beginning treatment right away can help you avoid complications.
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