What is back pain?
Back pain is a common reason for doctor’s visits and can feel like muscle aches, shooting pain, burning, stabbing, or could be pain radiating down the leg, as associated with sciatica. This pain may be constant or can worsen with activity, such as bending, twisting, lifting, sitting, or even standing or walking.
What causes back pain?
Unlike with some injuries, it’s not always evident the specific cause of back pain, though the type of pain experienced will vary depending on whether the injury is in the muscle, the bone, or affecting the nerves. Some people seemingly hurt their back doing regular daily activities, such as bending over. The specific source of the pain (such as musculature or disks) can be identified with imaging.
- Repetitive motion, heavy lifting (especially with poor form), and awkward motions can cause strain to back muscles that may make them spasm painfully.
- Arthritis can affect the lower back, sometimes causing a narrowing of the space around the spinal cord.
- The rubber-like cushions between your vertebrae, your spinal disks, can sometimes bulge or rupture. When this happens, the disk can put pressure on nerves, causing pain and mobility issues.
- Vertebrae in people with osteoporosis (fragile, brittle bones) can develop fractures that are very painful.
How is sciatica different from other back pain?
Sciatica is experienced as pain radiating down one of the legs. While the pain is in the leg, it is classified as back pain because it originates from the sciatic nerve in the lower (or lumbar) spine. It is caused by a pinching of the sciatic nerve, most often from a bulging disc or a bone spur on a vertebra.
Symptoms of back pain
The symptoms of back pain differ, depending on the source of the pain. Some symptoms include:
- Muscle spasms
- Pain that radiates down a limb
- Shooting or stabbing pain
- Burning sensation
Is back pain an emergency?
It is rare that back pain is an emergency. Back pain may gradually improve over time with rest. However, you should seek medical attention if your pain doesn’t improve with rest after a few weeks, is spreading into one or both legs, causes weakness, numbness, or tingling, or you experience weight loss you can’t explain in addition to back pain.
You should seek emergency medical assistance if you experience any of the following:
- Pain that causes bowel or bladder issues
- Pain in conjunction with a fever
- Pain that is due to a blow to the back, falling, or some other injury
The staff and doctor are very professional and polite they were extremely helpful also it didn’t take long to get what I need– Neicey