Oftentimes, pain in your lower back feels much worse than it actually is. But while lower back pain’s bark is typically a lot worse than its bite, there are certain times when you should take your symptoms more seriously. In more severe instances, your pain could be an indicator of serious medical conditions like cancer, spinal cord damage, or autoimmune diseases that require immediate attention from local doctors.
Not sure if your lower back pain will go away on its own — or if it’s a more serious problem that requires medical help from local doctors in your area? Here’s a look at two signs that indicate your back pain requires urgent treatment:
Your pain becomes chronic
As we age, our bodies’ ability to repair themselves weakens. Past age 55, approximately one in 20 cases of lower back pain are related to a fracture. And because six out of every 10 Baby Boomers will be managing some sort of chronic condition by 2030, it’s always better to be safe than sorry the closer you are to age 55. If you experience chronic lower back pain — the kind that never goes away — you should seek out a doctor sooner, rather than later. You could be showing early symptoms of cancer or spinal infection.
You experience numbness, weak legs, and other disturbing symptoms
If you’re having trouble using the bathroom and experience a numb groin and weak legs in addition to your back pain, this could be a sign of cauda equina syndrome. This condition occurs when the lowest part of your spinal cord is pinched, and should be treated by a doctor immediately. Common causes of cauda equina syndrome include ruptured discs, trauma, cancer, and infection.
Sometimes lower back pain goes away by itself, but if you’re still suffering after a week, get yourself checked out.