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How Do You Identify If Your Back Pain Is Serious Health Concern?

By Expert Author: Sejal Thakkar

Every 3 out of 10 people in the world have had one or more episodes of lower back pain. Most episodes soon ease over a period of time and are not due to serious back problems. In most cases the usual advice is to keep active, and do normal activities as much as possible. Painkillers are helpful until the pain eases. Chronic pain develops in some cases, and further treatment may then be needed, on the advice of the specialist

Back pain can be classified as the following:
• Acute which is normally either a sprain of a ligament or a muscle, or a minor problem with the joints between two vertebrates.

• Nerve root problem which either sciatica, where a main nerve to the leg, is irritated or pressed on or a slipped disc where part of the inner softer part of the disc bulges out and presses on a nerve nearby.

• Arthritis of the spine sometimes causes back pain. Osteoarthritis is the common form or arthritis occurring in older people. Ankylosing spondylitis occurs in young adults causing pain and stiffness in the lower back. Rheumatoid arthritis may affect the spine, but are likely to affect other joints too.

As a general guide, if any of the following occur then it may indicate that it may not be simple lower back pain, and there may be a more serious underlying cause. Therefore, tell a doctor if you have any of the following.

• The pain first develops under the age of 20 years or over the age of 55 years.

• Constant back pain that is not eased by lying down or resting.

• Pain travels to the chest, or is higher in the back behind the chest. If the pain developed gradually, and slowly gets worse and worse over days or weeks.
• In addition to back pain, you have:
o Weakness of any muscles in a leg or foot.
o Numbness (lack of feeling) in part or parts of a buttock, around the anus, or in a leg or foot.
o Problems with your bladder or bowels such as not being able to pass urine or loss of control (incontinence).
o Weight loss, fever, or if you feel generally unwell.
o Recent history of violent trauma or injury to the back.
o You have or have had a cancer of any part of the body. You have taken steroid tablets for more than a few months.
o If you have a poor immune system. For example, if you are on chemotherapy or have HIV/AIDS.
o If you are unsure about any symptom.

Author Bio:
Dr Sejal Thakkar, A Spine Consultant at Qi Spine Clinic, a Masters in Musculoskeletal Conditions from Nanavati hospital and Bachelors of Physiotherapy from D.Y.Patil college of Physiotherapy, is driven by the goal of achieving excellence in clinical practice by constantly updating my knowledge and has a special interest in Back pain analysis.

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