Back Pain


Back Pain – Causes, Symptoms and When to Seek Emergency Room Treatment

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Back pain occurs when the nerves, muscles, tendons, discs, or bones along the spine are damaged or strained. The pain can be located in the upper back (upper back pain), middle back (middle back pain), or lower back (lower back pain), and it can be very difficult to tolerate.

Backaches can occur in people of all ages, but it is less common in children and older adults. Backache typically disappears on its own in a few weeks, and surgery is rarely used as treatment.

Causes of Back Pain

Since the spine is complex and is made up of many parts, it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of back pain. In many cases,it is simply the result of poor posture and using the wrong techniques to lift heavy objects. However, backaches can also be caused by:

  • Pregnancy
  • Obesity
  • Inflammation
  • Stress
  • Herniated discs
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Scoliosis
  • Kidney infection
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Sciatica
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Cancer
  • Osteoporosis
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Paget’s disease of bone
  • Sprains and strains caused by car wrecks, sports or other injuries
  • Cauda equina syndrome
  • Shingles

Back pain may be alleviated with over-the-counter pain medication or with the application of heat or cold to the affected area. However, severe back aches may require anesthetic or analgesic drugs for relief.

Many people who suffer from bad back have also found that their pain is reduced through acupuncture, biofeedback, behavior modification and relaxation, while others require nerve blocks or corticosteroid drugs to ease their backache. Since back surgery is extremely risky and may cause additional pain, doctors may use it as a last resort after other treatments have failed.

If you are experiencing excruciating back pain, please visit one of our 24-hour emergency centers. Our board-certified ER doctors are experienced, knowledgeable and available anytime to meet medical needs.

When to Seek Medical Attention for Back Pain

Most back aches will ease after a few days of resting in bed. If your pain has not disappeared after three days of resting and the use of over-the-counter medication, it’s time to visit the emergency center. Some symptoms to look out for include:

  • Fever
  • Unusual bladder or bowel control issues
  • Appearance after a sports injury, severe car wreck or bad fall
  • Pain that extends down the back and below the knees

If you’re suffering from back pain that is persistent or intolerable, let our board-certified doctors at SignatureCare Emergency Center help you out. Our 24 hour ERs have board certified physicians available to diagnose and treat back issues.

Schedule an Appointment or visit your nearest emergency center anytime. We have little to no wait in our ER. Schedule an appointment with us.