Back pain can range from occasional to nagging to chronic. It can be dull and throbbing or sudden and stabbing. It can occur high around the shoulders, low in the lumbar area, and anywhere in between. No matter the form it takes, the fact is that nearly everyone will experience back pain to some degree at some time or another. The key is knowing when this discomfort is really signaling a much larger, more complicated problem.
For most patients, it isn’t the pain itself but rather the manner in which it occurred or the accompanying symptoms that indicate a more serious issue is at hand. Back pain alone may not warrant seeking immediate chiropractic care. However, when other symptoms are also at play, there may be need for concern. Here are some signs that back pain could mean something more, and chiropractic evaluation should be sought quickly:
Back Pain from Trauma
If a back injury is the direct result of some sort of trauma such as an auto accident, a chiropractor should be seen immediately. Even in the event that pain is not yet present, it is still wise to seek consultation. Forceful trauma can result in a range of serious injuries to the nerves, ligaments, and even spine itself. However, it can often take days or even weeks for the severity of these injuries to be evident, making it necessary to seek chiropractic evaluation at the earliest opportunity.
Numbness from Back Injury
Numbness and tingling may seem less significant than pain, but in actuality, these are typically more serious symptoms. In the majority of cases, these types of sensations point to nerve damage or irritation. Conditions such as herniated discs are often the culprits to blame, and if left untreated, serious and lasting damage may result.
Prolonged Back Pain
About 90 percent of back pain cases will show improvement within six weeks. For those that do not, a chiropractic exam and some testing may be required to pinpoint the cause of the discomfort. Once the problem has been identified, a physician can then implement an appropriate treatment plan.
Back Pain in the Elderly
For elderly patients, any pain should be investigated sooner rather than later. Those over the age of 70 are at increased risk for infections and various pain-inducing conditions. Additionally, symptoms are often more severe and recovery time far longer for those in this age group.
Most of us realize that a cough or fever is an indication that something else is going on inside our bodies. Yet, when it comes to back pain, many treat it as the problem, rather than a symptom. In some cases, this may be true. However, there are many others in which patients ignore a telling sign for weeks at a time. When back pain is accompanied by any of the above factors, patients should see a chiropractic physician and be evaluated as quickly as possible. By doing so, further damage and unnecessary discomfort may be avoided.
If you are experiencing back pain and are located in the Greater Charlotte area, contact SouthEast Chiropractic: The Motion Centers. Our physicians can help pinpoint the source of your pain, as well as develop a comprehensive treatment plan, including recommendations for outside medical services if needed.