Health blog

When back pain is serious and what you can do about it

June 6th, 2020
When Is Back Pain Serious

There are far too many people that live the story of back pain every day. The ache when walking the dog. The inability to work through the entire day without pain. These are just a few issues that so many people are all too familiar with. 

In a way, this familiarity makes a good deal of sense. After all, researchers estimate that more than 80% of people experience lower back pain at some time in their lives. Most causes of back pain tend to get significantly better in a few days or weeks. However, there are certain signs you should watch out for, as they indicate your back pain might be serious. 

What signs might you notice when back pain is serious?

It’s common to think that the best indicator that your back pain is serious is how much pain you feel. This is partly true. However, some issues, like a pulled back muscle, can be very painful yet fade away in a short period of time. 

A sign that is slightly more reliable is how long your pain lasts. Most causes of back pain tend to start getting better within one to two weeks. If yours doesn’t, it could be a sign that your back problem is serious, and you should consider visiting your doctor. 

Some signs might indicate an even more serious issue that requires emergency attention. These signs include: 

  • Severe stomach pain
  • High fever
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Sudden or increasing weakness in your legs

What can you do when your back pain is serious?

People who notice any of the signs above should first consult their physician. Your primary care doctor might offer many treatment options when your back pain is serious. These options might include surgery or physical therapy. 

Physical therapy can be particularly helpful for serious and chronic back issues. One medical study reports that physical therapy is just as effective for lumbar spinal stenosis as surgery. There are many therapy techniques your therapists could use to help you. Two of the most common are: 

  1. Manual therapy — This category of therapy involves therapists manipulating the affected area with their hands. A study on manual therapy for lower back pain reveals its effectiveness. The study shows that manual therapy helped patients reduce local pain by 22% on average. It also helped them decrease radiating pain by 35% on average. 
  1. Aquatic therapy — This therapy method allows therapists and patients to take advantage of the natural benefits of water. Aquatic therapy typically involves doing therapist-prescribed activities and exercises in a heated pool. One study reports that more than 90% of the patients who had aquatic therapy had an improvement in their back pain. 

Rehab Access can help when your back pain is serious

Need to find effective physical therapy when your back pain is serious? Our team of therapy specialists at Rehab Access are ready to assist you. We offer complimentary screenings designed to pinpoint the source of your back pain. Our team also has experience building personalized back pain treatment plans for our patients. We even offer virtual care sessions and at-home therapy appointments in addition to our in-clinic appointments. Better yet, you can use any of these services without a doctor’s referral. 

Take the next step to start getting our help with your back pain. Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.