Back pain doesn’t discriminate. It affects children and adults of all walks of life, from athletes and stage performers to laid-back homebodies. Back pain can manifest in a lot of different ways. It could be a mild ache that goes away after a few days or severe pain that’s difficult to tolerate. 

Some of the most worrying cases of back pain are the times when the pain stays for an extended time. There are plenty of things that could be causing your back pain, but it will be hard to get to the bottom of it and fix things without professional help. 

In this article, let’s take a closer look at the most common signs of when it’s time to take your back pain seriously—and call a doctor.

These are the signs you should look out for:

Pain That Lasts for More Than a Week

Pain is a normal part of life, but it usually doesn’t last for more than a week. If the pain in your back lasts for more than a week, it could be a symptom that something serious is going on. The number one cause of chronic back pain is lumbar disc herniation. 

This condition can cause your disks to burst and lead to serious nerve compression. Better get your back examined to figure out what’s causing your pain.

Pain That Gets Worse Over Time

If you’re experiencing just any kind of back pain, you should be fine with taking over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen. If that doesn’t fix it, you still might be able to deal with it. 

However, if your pain keeps getting worse, it’s time to seek professional help. Pain in the back can signify a serious health problem, and getting professional care as early as possible.

Pain That Extends to Other Parts of Your Body

Back pain isn’t highly uncommon. Older adults mostly experience it. However, if your back pain is so severe that it extends to other parts of your body, it could be a sign that something’s gone wrong. In some cases, the pain can be so severe that it’s followed by paralysis. If your pain reaches this level, you should get professional care as soon as possible.

Any Numbness, Tingling, or Weakness

If you experience numbness, tingling, or weakness in your legs and arms and have back pain, it could be a sign that you’ve got pinched nerves. 

This is a common issue for sciatica, an extremely painful condition that can affect anyone and cause minor to severe back pain. If you’re experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms and back pain, get checked out regardless of what you believe is the cause.

The Bottom Line

Back pain is nothing new for most people. It affects everyone—from children to adults. It’s normal for it to hurt when you strain or lift something. 

However, if it lasts for more than a week, gets worse over time, or extends to other parts of your body, it’s very likely that something serious is going on and that you should seek professional help. Be sure to listen to your body and know when to call the doctor.

At Family Medicine and Wellness, we believe that health and wellness are key to a good life. Our goal is to help our patients attain this through a personalized patient-physician relationship. 

Dr. Al-Misky believes in a strong, trustworthy, and confidential patient relationship and is committed to effective communication and shared decision-making. If you are looking for a family medicine specialist, contact us today to learn more or schedule an appointment now.