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Lower Back Pain, When To Worry

Apr 5, 2008
When we experience pain in our lower back and it takes a few days, most of us start to worry and some even experience anxious thoughts. It is good to know that over 80% of all adults experience lower back pain at one time in there life or, more likely, more than ones. The pain can be mild, little twinges but can also be more severe, intense and even crippling pain that effects every move you make.

When you have the idea that all back pain is the same, the last sentence should have given you a clue, pain can vary in intensity and there are roughly said two kinds of back pain chronic and acute. Acute back pain is most of the time just lasting a few days a week or two at most. When you don't take proper precautions and treat the cause of the pain, the pain can become chronic.

Chronic back pain does not mean that there is no cure or treatment and that you will keep on having it for the rest of your life, it just means that it takes longer to heal and treat. Chronic back pain can be there all the time all day and night, or it can come in flares and be periodically mild and worse. It can be very hard to determine the cause of chronic back pain.

Something else people worry about is if the pain is so severe that there will be severe damage to the back to. In fact the amount of pain does probably not correspond with the amount of damage, it is possible to have excruciating back pain because of a simple muscle spasm and a few days later it is completely gone without any damage. Back pain can be so severe that walking and even standing can be so painful that you think it will never go away again and you will be handicapped because of it, in fact 90% of the real awful back pains don't take longer than just a few days. Some disc degeneration however can be totally pain free but are extremely dangerous.

Most people who experience back pain have no idea if they should rest or exercise, in general resting for more than one or two days is not good, it makes your back stiff and it will slow down your recovery. You should do small exercises every couple of hours and regain some strength, By doing so you will heal faster and properly. Gradually introduce more and more activities but without overdoing it of course, Overdoing it will make things worse.

When should you go see a doctor?

This is also a question most people with back pain have trouble with.

You should call your family doctor:

- when the pain is not getting any less in about 5 days
- when you experience progressive weakness in your legs
- when you have a sudden bladder and/or bowel dysfunction
- when you have severe, continuous low back and/or abdominal pain
- when you have a fever and chills in combination with back pain
- when you have a history with cancer and recent weight loss
- when you have back pain because of severe trauma

Your doctor will not always identify the source of your lower back pain, often there is no known direct physiological cause that your doctor can determine, that does not mean that the pain you are experiencing is in your head, it just means that the cause can't be identified.

Now you know the facts, you see there is no reason to start worrying right away, take some time to heal and start with some small exercises. And if you do worry just call your family doctor.
About the Author
Richard Collins knows about back pain first hand. He has seen all kinds of doctors and done all kinds of therapies. On his blog at www.gottabackpain.com he talks about what can be done to alleviate the pain.
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