Can Back Pain Worsen if You ignore It?
Don’t ignore back pain of any kind. While you may think you just overdid it in a workout or felt like you pulled it wrong while working around the yard, ignore back pain at your peril. You don’t have to suffer back pain in silence. Check with your doctor or go right to a back pain physician. There are a number of reasons to get your back seen by a spinal medicine specialist at the Southeastern Spine Institute.
Whether it’s just the first sign of pain or a lingering discomfort that just won’t go away, back pain may indicate any number of issues, including:
- Muscle strain
- Tingling or numbness
- Shooting pain down your arms or legs
- Nerve damage
- Tiny compression fractures
Why Should I Visit a Spinal Medicine Doctor?
An experienced physician who treats back pain considers your symptoms and then advises you on the best next steps to take so you can recover quickly. When you ignore back pain, even when it’s only slightly annoying, you run the risk of experiencing further complications that may require more extensive treatments or even lead to worse conditions.
A team of specialist – like the ones at Southeastern Spine — listens to your litany of symptoms, when they first appeared and how the pain affects your posture. They’ll check your range of motion. To uncover the root of the pain, they may run a few tests to confirm a diagnosis, such as:
- Computerized axial tomography (CAT) scan
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test
- Bone scan
- Neurological tests
What Treatments May Work for Early-Onset Back Pain?
When you seek the advice from a specialist at the first sign of back pain, you’ll be pleased to find simple solutions to relieve the discomfort, such as:
- Ice, heat or alternating both
- Taking frequent breaks from sitting
- Over-the-counter medications like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as naproxen, ibuprofen or aspirin
- Physical therapy that may include stretching and strengthening exercises
If at-home treatments don’t bring you relief, you may need a non-invasive treatment, always the first professional option is The Southeastern Spine Institute.
- Muscle relaxers or heavier pain meds
- Steroidal injections
- A back brace
- Medically based massage
- More rigorous physical therapy
How Can I Avoid Back Pain?
You won’t have to ignore back pain if you can prevent it in the first place. Often, if you don’t have any previous experience with persistent back pain and don’t have an underlying medical condition, it’s just a simple matter of making small changes in the way you do certain things.
You also may need to make some adjustments to your lifestyle to prevent back pain. Either way, your back specialist makes recommendations that work for you and your risks that may include:
- Correcting bad posture. One of the main practices that leads to back pain is poor posture in the form of slouching, walking or working with your head lowered and locking your knees.
- Losing weight. Excessive pounds add stress to your spine that eventually leads to pain. If you’re overweight and ignore back pain, you may end up with serious consequences.
- Getting more exercise. Core exercises strengthen the muscles surrounding your spine, giving it the support it needs to remain healthy. Exercise also can help you lose weight if that’s an issue.
- Avoiding twisting your back when you’re lifting heavy objects. You’ve heard that you need to lift with your legs because they can bear the strain, while your back is not intended for that purpose.
- Quitting smoking. Smoking prevents life-giving nutrients and oxygen from getting to the discs in your spine, making them more vulnerable to injury.
Contact the Southeastern Spine Institute today to talk to a knowledgeable expert in spine care. Keep your back strong, and you’ll never have to worry about back pain.