When you’re experiencing severe and sometimes even debilitating back pain it can be difficult not to worry that something serious is to blame. But this is rarely the case. The severity of pain is not usually indicative of the seriousness of the cause. For example, someone experiencing muscle strain may feel a higher level of pain than a patient suffering from a serious underlying spinal condition.
Up to 80% of people experience back pain at some point during their lives – of which most cases are not caused by anything sinister. Muscle and ligament pain along with “slipped” discs are among the most common causes of back pain – all of which can often be resolved with an appropriate treatment plan.
However, it is important to be aware if the warning signs that could indicate a serious underlying cause of back pain.
Our Ealing chiropractor has put together a simple check list of ‘red flag’ spinal warning signs to look out for.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, contact your chiropractor or medical professional immediately.
- You feel pain in the upper section of your back (thoracic spine)
- You have nervous system symptoms such as numbness, loss of strength, disturbed walking or loss of bowel/ bladder control
- You currently have or have had any type of cancer in the past
- You are in constant pain which is getting worse
- Your symptoms started after a violent incident, such as a road traffic accident
- You are currently on steroid medication
- You misuse drugs or have HIV
- You feel unwell or you have an unexplained fever
- You’ve lost a significant amount of weight
- You have difficulty bending forwards
- You are less than 20 or over 55 when you first experience back pain
- Your back pain has lasted for more than six weeks
Remember that ignoring your symptoms is likely to make them worse and certainly will not make them disappear. Make sure you tell your chiropractor about any new or worsening symptoms; the sooner they are assessed, the greater chance you’ll have of making a full recovery and restoring your spinal health.