Is My Lower Back Pain Dangerous?
by Dr. Troy Vander Molen, PT, DPT
You probably know that lower back pain is common. Despite that fact, experiencing it for the first time can be an extremely painful and scary experience. And when pain strikes, it’s hard to know how serious to take it and what’s the best next step to take to resolve it.
If you’re dealing with low back pain, take a deep breath because lower back pain is rarely dangerous. In fact, in most cases the incident will go away on its own, at least for a while. Almost always, lower back pain, even if it’s accompanied by periodic numbness and tingling into the leg, is simply a mechanical irritation due to some type of physical stress (i.e. compression or tension) on a sensitive tissue in the lower back.
Only rarely is lower back pain caused by a serious problem. So let’s talk about the warning signs and particular symptoms associated with the rare instances of serious problems:
- Unexplained weight loss, physical weakness, and/or pain that worsens at night. These symptoms may be the result of a tumor around the spine.
- Difficulty with bowel or bladder function. In extremely rare cases, lower back problems can cause numbness in the buttocks region and difficulty with excretory functions, which can signify potential damage to the nerves in the tailbone area.
- Pain radiating into the legs accompanied by difficulty with muscle function in the leg. Pain, numbness, and tingling into the leg may result when a nerve gets pinched at the lower back. In most cases, effective physical therapy treatment can reduce the pressure and eliminate those symptoms. However, if you experience difficulty moving the foot or leg, the degree of pressure is advanced and requires more medical examination.
- Fever or chills. These types of symptoms can occur when you experience a spinal infection, another extremely rare condition.
If you experience lower back pain – even if it is severe – you don’t need to fret. Pain relief and a return to full function are the absolute most common outcomes. The quicker you eliminate the stress on the painful tissue, the sooner you can feel better, so seek out the expert help of lower back pain experts, like your friends at Kinetic Edge Physical Therapy, at the first onset of pain.
We’re offering this FREE Back Pain Screen Day event on:
Thursday, June 14 from 12:00 – 5:00 PM
Kinetic Edge in Ames – 4700 Mortensen Road, Suite 101
Kinetic Edge in Des Moines – 516 3rd Street, Suite 100
Kinetic Edge in Pella – 604 Liberty Street, Suite 227
How do you reserve a time for the Back Pain Screen Day?
Email us or call our office to schedule a time using our toll-free number, 866-588-0230. Don’t hesitate to sign up. Space is limited as we only have 15 time slots.
The biggest predictor of lower back pain in the future is a past experience with lower back pain. So, even if you’re not experiencing lower back pain currently but have dealt with it in the past, you’d likely benefit from the help of a knowledgeable physical therapist who can find and fix the issues that contribute to the pain. Fixing those root problems will reduce the likelihood that your lower back pain will return.
If you’re ready to fix the root problems of your low back pain, give us a call at 866-588-0230 to schedule a free 20 minute back pain screen today.