The Southeastern Spine Institute

Back pain is one of the most common complaints that doctors encounter. Since it’s so common, many people tend to write it off and try home remedies when it first appears. If you begin a new exercise routine and feel sore the next day, rest and stretching may be all that’s required.

But if you experience other symptoms, whether for the first time or as discomfort that’s lingered for a while, the safest route is to see your back specialist at the Southeastern Spine Institute (SSI) sooner rather than later. Don’t hesitate to call SSI at the first signs of back problems, especially if you’ve had an injury or fall. Call if you’re also experiencing:

  • Radiating pain that travels down your leg
  • Stabbing or shooting pains
  • Back pain accompanied by a fever
  • Frequent headaches
  • Bladder or bowel problems that started with the first signs of back pain
  • Tingling, numbness or weakness in your leg
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Limited range of neck or arm motion
  • Pain that keeps you from your ordinary activities

Also, see your SSI back pain specialist at the first signs of back problems if you:

  • Are over the age of 50
  • Use steroids
  • Abuse alcohol or drugs
  • Have osteoporosis
  • Had cancer in the past

Untreated Back Pain

Don’t ever feel silly about visiting your doctor. Don’t feel that you’re bothering a back specialist with mild complaints. When it comes to the first signs of back problems, your SSI team encourages a rapid response. Untreated, a mild irritation can become a more serious condition that can lead to a long-term disability.

Chronic pain often is followed by depression and difficulty sleeping, which causes more suffering. Untreated back problems lead to a greater risk of developing complications that may include:

  • Herniated discs
  • Nerve damage
  • Incontinence
  • Irregular bowel movements
  • Partial paralysis
  • Deformity, such as from spondylolisthesis
  • Damage to soft tissues
  • Extreme back pain

Common Causes of First-Time Back Pain

If you develop back pain for the first time, you may not even be aware of what you did to cause the discomfort. Sometimes, the cause never is discovered, especially if you’re genetically disposed to back problems.

The causes of the first signs of back problems range from minor behavioral issues like poor posture to serious underlying conditions such as:

  • Irregularities in your spine
  • Spine cancer
  • Torn muscles
  • Ligament strains
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Arthritis
  • Infection
  • Sciatica

Levels of Treatment

After an initial exam, either in person or through a virtual examination, your back pain doctor may just recommend that you try some at-home measures to relieve your pain, such as:

  • Targeted stretching exercises
  • Over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain medication (NSAIDs)
  • A combination of heat and ice applied to the sore area
  • Rest and lifestyle modifications, such as reducing screen time or investing in an ergonomic desk chair

If you don’t feel relief with a week or two following the first signs of back problems, your doctor may move up to more aggressive, but non-invasive treatments, such as:

  • Prescription medications that include anticonvulsants, opioids or antidepressants
  • Physical therapy with a trained physical therapist at SSI
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)

When back pain continues or you’ve been diagnosed with a serious back condition, SSI back specialists offer a wide range of minimally invasive treatment options at their new Mt. Pleasant medical complex. Don’t wait until the pain worsens. Call for an appointment today.