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How do you know when back pain is serious?

  • In general, back pain is common; it may be associated with a specific activity such as lifting or twisting incorrectly. This pain goes away within 72 hours with rest and gram/cold treatment; however, if the pain gradually increases, and does not go away, your condition may be more serious. There are several red flags that pain management doctor look for when evaluating low back pain. These warning signs are intended to detect fractures, tumors, or infections in the spinal cord.



    This blog mentions such signs by which you will know that back pain is serious.




    Fever can be a sign of severe back pain. As a result, you may have pain and stiffness in your back. Sometimes back pain can be the secondary result of an infection that causes fever. Your doctor will usually advise you to resume daily activity gradually. Getting too much rest can aggravate your back pain.


    Numbness or weakness-


    If you experience weakness, incoordination, and numbness in the legs, you are at risk of cauda equina syndrome. This is a serious disease of spinal nerve damage, which can cause nerve pressure. As a result, long-term nerve irritation and damage can lead to permanent disability. In this situation, you need to see a back specialist.


    Loss of bowel or bladder function-


    Back pain with loss of bowel or bladder control can be a sign of a serious condition. This disease is known as cauda equina syndrome. In this, the nerve roots in the lower end of the spinal cord experience some kind of compression, and paralysis occurs. It can be caused by a herniated disc, fracture, tumor, spinal stenosis, or trauma to the spinal cord. Cauda equina syndrome can be a medical emergency and requires immediate back pain treatment.


    Foot Drop-


    In severe signs of back pain, you may experience that your toes drag along the ground while walking or that you have to deliberately raise your leg higher to compensate for the drag. This condition caused by back pain is called senile. Dropping of the foot is usually a symptom of a critical problem.


    Night pain-


    In this type of pain, you will feel that there is no pain during the day but at night the back pain starts, which makes sleep almost impossible. This pain could be a sign of disc degeneration or a sprain or something more serious like cancer or a tumor. If back pain occurs during the night then it should not be ignored. Make a doctor's appointment as soon as possible.





    This is inflammation of the joints that connect your spine and pelvis. This condition can cause pain in the lower back, glutes, and upper legs.


    In case of severe back pain, assess your pain and symptoms. Although back pain is common, it can take a serious form if it is not treated in time. Consult a doctor if signs of severe symptoms appear. If there are red flag symptoms, you need to go to the pain center. 


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