The spine is an intricate structure that houses numerous nerves; very important nerves that help you move and facilitate organ functions. With an abundance of tendons, muscles, joints, discs, and bones (24 vertebrae to be exact), this part of the body is naturally susceptible to mishaps. If something goes wrong in any part of the spine, as you know, life can get pretty miserable.
It’s only natural that you would want to resolve back pain as quickly as possible. We’ve all heard of those poor individuals who live in chronic pain month after month, or sometimes for years. You don’t want to be “that guy.” And yet, do you need surgery to address what ails you? A few guidelines may help you determine which direction to go for pain relief.
The Usual Suspects
There are some conditions that may affect the mobility of the spinal structure. According to research, it is strains and sprains that are behind the large majority of back pain complaints. This is good news, because of these injuries, though they feel awful, are likely to heal over time with good home care and good postural habits. Rest and proper care is vital, though, and should not be rushed, or there is a very real risk of exacerbating the initial injury.
When you Should see a Back Specialist
The question mark when it comes to back pain is when to see a doctor, and which doctor to see. There are red flags to look for. If you see any one of them, do not ignore it. Schedule a visit with your normal healthcare provider if you notice:
- Back pain is accompanied by a fever.
- Tingling or numbness occurs alongside back pain (usually in the limbs).
- Muscle weakness occurs, or you lose function of any part of the body.
- Pain does not resolve, or becomes worse, over a few weeks’ time.
It isn’t always possible to find the origin of back pain. A consultation with an experienced spinal surgeon can provide detailed information about spinal health, though, uncovering indicators of degeneration or other concerns that may be addressed with a minor procedure.