Andrew Kitterman, PA-C here at Prairie Spine is giving some of the red flags associated with back pain and what you should do if you have any of these symptoms. Read the article below to learn more about back pain and what advancements Prairie Spine has made to ensure accurate diagnosis and treatment plan for you. If you have any questions or to schedule an appointment please contact us at 309-691-7774.
Back pain is common among the general population. Up to 80% of the United States’ adult population will experience low back pain at one point in their life. While back pain can be debilitating, it can also cause permanent problems that are life threatening.
This article will outline some of the “red flags” associated with back pain that should prompt patients to receive immediate care. While this list includes many warning signs it is not all inclusive. If you have any concerns about your back pain do not hesitate to seek medical attention from a licensed physician.
One “red flag” symptom is fever associated with back pain. Fever can indicate that your body is fighting an infection which could be in your spine. If you notice that you are experiencing back pain in conjunction with a fever it is important that you seek immediate care.
Unexplained weight loss is another “red flag” associated with back pain. Unexplained weight loss could also be accompanied by fatigue, decreased appetite, and night sweats. All of these symptoms are particularly concerning for cancer. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms it is important to be evaluated. If you have a history of prostate, renal, breast, or lung cancer it is especially important for you to be evaluated for back pain.
Certain neurological symptoms associated with back pain can also be emergent. These symptoms could include bowel or bladder incontinence and loss of sensation around your perineal or perianal area. These symptoms may be seen with cauda equina syndrome. Cauda equina syndrome is a rare disorder that can be a surgical emergency to prevent permanent paralysis of your legs. It is also important for you to seek medical attention if you are experiencing major motor weakness in your extremities. This may be a sign of nerve root compression.
If you experience any form of trauma, from a fall to an automobile accident, it is also important to be evaluated as soon as possible. Trauma can lead to fractures and instability that may require immediate treatment.
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms it is important that you seek medical care sooner rather than later. At Prairie Spine & Pain Institute, we believe patient education is our responsibility. If you have any questions regarding your back pain please call or schedule a formal evaluation with our clinical team.
Andrew Kitterman, PA-C