How to Determine if Your Lower Back Pain is Serious

Article featured on Southwest Spine & SportLower back pain affects millions of people worldwide. While most cases of lower back pain are not serious and can be treated with self-care measures, some cases may require medical attention and more advanced treatments.

What are some of the causes of lower back pain?

There are many causes and types of back pain, from acute to chronic.

Common causes of lower back pain include:

  • Muscle strains occur from lifting heavy objects, sudden movements, or poor posture.
  • Herniated discs occur when a spinal disc ruptures or slips out of place. (This can also cause symptoms like leg pain and numbness.)
  • Degenerative disc disease occurs when the discs in the spine begin to wear down over time. (This may also cause numbness and tingling.)
  • Spinal stenosis happens when the spinal canal narrows and puts pressure on the nerves in the spine. (This can also cause leg pain and weakness.)
  • Osteoarthritis, in which the cartilage in the joints begins to wear down, causing pain and stiffness.

What are the signs that my low back pain might be serious and require medical attention?

Low back pain frequently resolves on its own after a short healing period or when you stop engaging in the actions that cause it.

However, some signs indicate that your lower back pain may be serious and require medical attention. These include:

  • Pain that’s severe and doesn’t improve with rest or self-care
  • Pain that’s accompanied by symptoms such as fever, chills, or difficulty urinating
  • Pain that’s accompanied by weakness, numbness, or tingling in the legs
  • Acute pain after an injury or accident

No matter what kind of low back pain symptoms you’re experiencing, Dr. Wolff can evaluate your case, medical history, and overall health to determine the underlying cause and develop a personalized treatment plan for optimal pain relief and improved quality of life.

What can I do to alleviate lower back pain before my appointment?

There are also self-care measures you can use for lower back pain relief, such as:

  • Maintaining good posture
  • Engaging in regular exercise to strengthen core muscles
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Using proper lifting techniques during workouts
  • Using ergonomic furniture

New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.