Your spine is a fascinating piece of architecture. It's made up of 24 bones that are connected to ligaments and muscles to create the spinal column, giving your body its form and function.
It also holds and protects your spinal cord, a bundle of nerves that send signals to the rest of your body. Considering the vital role that this part of your body plays in everyday life, it's no surprise that over 19 million people go to a doctor every year for back pain.
You might be thinking that you can't go to the doctor every time you have a slight ache or soreness. We're here to help you determine when seeing a doctor is the right choice.
Here are five signs you should see a doctor for your neck or back pain:
1. Your pain doesn't go away or you have shooting pain down your arms or legs
Back pain will usually go away with some over-the-counter medicine and rest. But, if you have pain that lasts for more than two weeks, if the pain keeps you from performing daily activities or if you have shooting pain down your arms or legs, it’s time to see your doctor to find out what's going on.
2. Weakness, numbness or tingling in your arms and legs
Keep track of the areas that tingle, feel weak or go numb and be sure to tell your doctor.
3. Nighttime pain
Keep track of your back-pain intensity. If your pain worsens at nighttime, it could be a sign of something more serious.
4. Fever along with back pain or weight loss
A fever that is over 101 degrees Fahrenheit can be a sign you have an infection. Tell your doctor if your back pain is accompanied by a fever or if you experience sudden, rapid weight loss without actively dieting.
5. Problems with balance or controlling your bowels or bladder
It might seem unrelated, but be sure to tell your doctor if you have trouble controlling your bowels or bladder, or if you experience numbness and/or weakness in your hips. These symptoms are important to know when diagnosing your back problem.
You know your body better than anyone and will be able to tell what pain is common for you and what pain is abnormal. When your everyday aches and pains become more intense, it’s time to see a specialist.
Spine health begins with you, and the first step is being attentive to something that is out of the ordinary. Back pain shouldn't stop you from living your life or keep you from the activities that you love. By recognizing these 5 symptoms, you are already taking a proactive step toward better spine health!
If you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms, call us at the FloridaSpineExperts.com. Our multidisciplinary team can diagnose and treat a variety of spinal conditions, and help you get you back on your feet in no time.
How You’ll Be Kept Safe at Your Appointment
It’s important to us that you feel safe while under our care. That’s why we’ve put extra safety measures in place to keep you protected while visiting us for routine and preventive care.
Some of these safety measures include:
- A universal mask policy requiring all patients and guests to wear a mask in our facilities
- Temperature checks upon arrival for all patients, guests, providers and staff
- Social distancing in waiting rooms with reception areas having face shields
- An updated policy that allows only one visitor per patient
- Separate treatment areas for those with fevers or symptoms
- Frequent cleaning and disinfection of facilities
- Contactless registration via text at some locations