According to healthcare professionals, back pain is a common complaint among their patients. In fact, statistics show that about 80 percent of Americans go to their doctors about back pain once or twice per year. Approximately eight percent of those are further diagnosed with chronic pain that will affect their everyday lives.
While a lot of back pain can be managed with over-the-counter medication and rest, there are certain times when you don’t want to leave matters in your own hands.
What Can Cause Serious Back Pain
In many cases, serious back pain can be caused by an injury such as a fall or an accident that damages structures in your back. An injury can result in sudden but temporary pain known as acute back pain or long-lasting issues known as chronic back pain.
However, there are some chronic conditions that can cause significant back pain as well. The list includes osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, Ankylosing spondylitis, and degenerative disc disease.
Interestingly, some chronic pain is caused by conditions that aren’t even related to the spine. If you have fibroids, endometriosis, or pancreatitis, you may also experience pain in your lower back.
5 Signs Your Back Pain Is Serious
1. The Pain Is Sharp
Many people describe the initial pain from a back injury as being sharp followed by a persistent dull ache. If your pain is consistently sharp, it’s possible that it’s being caused by a serious injury like a torn muscle or ligament. It’s best to have this treated by a doctor.
2. The Pain Radiates
Generally, back pain tends to be concentrated on the area that has been hurt. When the pain radiates or shoots into your legs, it could be a sign that important nerves are being compressed. If left untreated, the pain will only get worse and could start to affect your mobility.
3. There’s Muscle Or Limb Weakness
Another sign that you have a serious nerve condition is sudden weakness in your muscles or limbs. You might experience this in a variety of ways that include