We all experience back pain from time to time, but there are occasions when the presence of spine pain can signal that something more serious may be going on. Red flags of a spinal condition may be things other than mere back pain; likewise, back pain may be a red flag signaling another underlying condition that you don’t know about.
When spine pain is severe or unusual, it may indicate an underlying medical condition that warrants further investigation and diagnosis by a doctor. Let’s talk about some of the things that back pain can indicate and what you can do about it.
What Are the Red Flags of Back Pain?
Oftentimes, conservative treatment methods are all that is required to treat back pain. However, a patient’s medical history, certain symptoms, or findings from a physical examination can indicate potential warning signs of certain medical or spinal conditions. Spine pain can therefore highlight the need for further action, such as diagnostic testing, a referral to a pain specialist, or specific treatment.
If back pain is associated or combined with one or more of the following signs and symptoms, this may be a red flag that medical intervention is necessary:
- History of trauma (car accidents, falls, etc.)
- Bladder or bowel incontinence
- Immune suppression
- Aged over 50
- History of cancer
- Intense localized pain
- Night pain
- Unexplained weight loss
- Saddle anesthesia (numbness in the inner thighs or buttocks)
- Pain does not improve with other modalities, such as medication or rest
- Inability to get into a comfortable position
- Deformity of the spine
- Physical change – altered complexion, increased sweating, tiredness, tremors
- History of long-term drug or steroid use
Causes of Lower Back Pain
Low back pain can be caused by a number of conditions, varying from serious to benign. Some potentially serious causes of spinal pain can include:
- Spinal tumor or cancer
- Spinal infection (including bacterial or viral infection, such as meningitis)
- Spinal fracture (as a result of trauma or a condition such as arthritis or osteoporosis)
Where a spinal infection is concerned, it is very important to get a quick, accurate diagnosis in order to treat the infection effectively. Without prompt treatment by a doctor, symptoms can potentially get worse, leading to serious complications. Treatment will focus on eliminating the infection, relieving pain, and maintaining overall health.
Medical history and certain symptoms may indicate a tumor on the spine (or elsewhere in the body). A referral to a medical specialist for an examination and diagnostic testing will most likely be required.
Management for Chronic Back Pain in Boca Raton
If you are suffering with debilitating spine pain, Kamerlink Pain Institute can help. We offer sophisticated, effective, interventional pain management for conditions such as spinal stenosis, herniated or bulging discs, facet joint pain, sciatica, and many other health conditions. Our board-certified pain management physician, Dr. Jonathan Kamerlink, is here to help give you the relief you need to enjoy life again.
If you would like to make an appointment, or wish to find out more about the services we offer, contact us today at (561) 404-7667. We look forward to helping you get back to a more pain-free lifestyle.