Your back, extending from your neck to the pelvis, is in an intricate and delicate structure comprising numerous muscles, bones, ligaments, and other tissues. One of the major structures of your back is the spine. The spinal column provides your body with the necessary structure and support to move freely and bend flexibly. The spine also protects your spinal cord, which consists of nerves linking your brain to the rest of the body, and thus you can control your movements. Because of the delicate nature of your back, it can be damaged or attacked by different diseases. You may have to go to a Palmetto back pain doctor when your back pain results from mechanical issues, inflammation, infection, fractures, and cancer. More than 95% of back pain problems are due to mechanical issues. Mechanical low back pain may emanate from spinal narrowing, spinal disc herniation, muscle strain, or spinal arthritis.
For example, lower back pain that worsens with prolonged sitting may show that one of the discs may be bulging, ruptured, or protruding. That is because your sitting posture can exert more pressure on a bulging disc, which makes it press adjacent spinal nerves. Therefore, your doctor will recommend that instead of sitting for prolonged periods, you get up and perform stretching exercises or walk around.
Consequently, below are common signs the pain in your back may require emergency care.
1. Intense pain
Back pain usually develops gradually. Therefore at the onset of a backache, your condition may not cause severe pain, especially if you diagnose and treat the underlying problem early. Without treatment, the pain in your back will become sharp and long-lasting, which may be a sign that you have a damaged ligament or muscle or an issue with an organ in one part of your lower back.
2. Radicular back pain
Also called radiating pain, radicular back pain shifts from one part of your back to another and is also experienced in the upper or lower extremities. You will likely experience pain shifting from different back sections and extending to your legs and arms.
Radiating back pain may occur due to the straining of ligaments and muscles, radiculopathy, arthritis, fractures, or infections. Radiculopathy is a condition that affects your nerve root. The nerve root becomes pinched.
3. Weakness in your legs
If you experience an unexpected weakness in your legs that does not disappear within a few days or weeks, there is a higher possibility you have compressed spinal nerves. Apart from leg weakness, other accompanying symptoms you may experience are tingling and numbness sensations in your legs. You may also find it difficult to stand or walk.
The nerves in your spine may be irritated or pinched due to spinal narrowing or sciatica. However, you may also have sudden leg weakness due to a stroke.
4. Urinary incontinence
The loss of bladder control is a problem that can be common and embarrassing to you. Loss of bladder control can happen because of severe nerve compression or spinal infection.
For example, a spine infection can be caused by discitis, which attacks the intervertebral disc space.
Contact Physicians Group, LLC today to schedule an appointment with a back pain specialist.