07.07.18 | Chiropractic, General Health, Pain Conditions

8 Back Pain Red Flags: What to Do

Red flags for back pain

Back pain can begin small and work its way into our every thought and action. Working to prevent this from happening is also key to preventing long-term pain conditions. The cause of pain and course of action for recovery depends very much on the intensity and origin of lower and upper back pain. Each person’s story will be different but having an idea of when back pain must be reviewed by a chiropractic physician can expedite recovery.

Each human spine retains a slightly different make-up. While there are obviously many similarities in the structure of humans, each person has their own final signature within their body. Personalized chiropractic care adds a level of increased wellness that can dramatically increase the human body’s ability to overcome upper and lower back pain.

8 Back Pain Red Flags: What to Do infographic

Understanding What Causes Back Pain

Sports injuries, repetitive motion tasks at work, degenerative spinal discs, falling on ice, and tripping on a loose board are all examples of what can cause back pain. Maybe you have experienced all or none of these but chances are that one of them strikes a chord with you. Even if you have no idea what may be causing your pain, you can still work to help your body generate its own wellness.

Lower and upper back pain conditions can bring numbness and increasing discomfort in the buttocks, hips, legs, feet, as the pain radiates from its origin. It can be caused by one or more factors. A few common causes of back pain include:

  • Herniated discs
  • Subluxations
  • Degenerating discs
  • Arthritis
  • Muscle spasms

Considering these upper and lower back pain causes early can greatly decrease the risk for chronic pain conditions. Avoiding severe and lasting pain is possible through proper early care related to the cause of the specific back pain. Recognizing back pain red flags and knowing what to do about them early is the first step toward recovery.

Consider These 8 Back Pain Red Flags

1) Consistent pain

Pain that persists for more than four to six weeks needs to be reviewed by a medical professional. Considering care before that time is certainly a good idea. However, if you have had pain this long, you are definitely in a position in which you should inquire with a chiropractic physician regarding why your symptoms still remain. If you have reason to believe that the pain originated due to a fall or injury, be sure to include this information during an appointment.

Pain that resides with you long enough to have become a part of your daily experiences needs medical review. Pain the hangs around for extended periods of time has a way of staying around longer than necessary when not properly treated. Treating back pain early helps to stave away more serious chronic pain conditions. Getting care early can also help diminish the length and intensity of which pain may reside with us.

Causes of Back Pain When Working on the Computer

2) Incident of trauma

If back pain develops after a fall, car crash, or another trauma-related incident, be sure to get a medical review as soon as possible. Serious injuries do not often relieve themselves on their own. Greater health conditions may develop if early care is not given. Seek medical care immediately and ensure that your provider explains what is discovered for your understanding.

Life-threatening matters should receive immediate emergency care. Once you are into the recovery stage, chiropractic care can help your body recognize what it needs to do to get back to normal daily tasks. Professional chiropractic treatments early after an incident can dramatically improve the body’s ability to heal naturally after an injury has been sustained.

3) Sudden, sharp, or shooting pain

Sharp back pain can relate to pain signals that are trying to alert the sufferer to a condition in the body that needs attention. This can be related to sciatica, herniated disc, or other condition requiring medical care. Sudden, sharp, or shooting pain – that is not the direct result of smacking into the corner of a table edge – needs to be reviewed by a medical professional. Chiropractic physicians are trained to help clients find relief from back pain symptoms.

4) Unexplained pain

Pain that you do not understand may be as simple as having bumped into something in a hurry and having forgotten that this happened in the middle of the night. Is there a bruise that accompanies your pain? If you have unexplained pain, this can be a sure sign that something may be hiding under your skin that would do well to receive a chiropractic review.

If you have back pain that you do not understand or cannot explain, a chiropractic physician can help determine what the pain means. Knowing what is happening inside the portions of your body that you cannot see is important for helping to maintain long-term health and wellness.

Pain works like a signal to the body. It says, “Hello, I am here to let you know that something is not going just exactly right in here. Please look into what is not right so that regular neurological messages can flow through your body efficiently.”

5) Pain that leads to an extremity

Pain that reaches to other portions of the body may have neuromuscular origins that require chiropractic medical care for recovery. The back and spine are central to the rest of the body and must retain wellness to minimize health in the connections that help the body to function as a unit. While it is most common for back pain to reach the legs in some manner, it is also possible for back pain to emit itself through the neck or arms.

6) Severe pain

Severe back pain that prevents you from completing regular daily tasks should be reviewed by your chiropractic physician. Pain exists for a reason and in order for healing to commence, the cause of the pain needs to be considered. Pain that is present in the body in a way that causes you to alter your daily habits or make changes in any way may be a sign of a serious ailment or condition.

Treatments can be focused on finding the source of upper and lower back pain for the purpose of diminishing or even eliminating the pain that develops as a result of that cause. Severe pain does not have to remain severe or even prevent at all. If you have severe lower or upper back pain, consider seeking professional chiropractic help near you.

how to relieve back pain

7) Pain that disrupts rest

Back pain at night can be a sure red flag that medical attention is needed. Pain that disrupts sleep decreases the body’s ability to heal efficiently. It can also be an important signal that something needs immediate medical attention. Serious conditions may be developing as a result of an underlying cause of back pain that remains at night.

Back pain at night red flag considerations include remembering that pain is not intended to keep us awake, but rather to alert us that something is not as it should be inside the body. Upper or lower back pain that is combined with fever, weight loss, and other unexplained symptoms may be a sign of a serious medical condition that needs care.

8) Open wounds, abrasions, lacerations

Depending on how severe skin wounds occur on the body, their presence may bring something unexpected underneath the skin as well. Once the initial injury has healed, you may begin to notice other deeper back pain. Whatever force caused the skin injury may have brought on further injury to the related muscles and joints.

Since this type of injury is often expected to present pain, it is often left to the side for a bit as part of the initial injury. If back pain still remains after the skin injury has healed, chiropractic care may be found very beneficial for the purpose of discovering what exactly has happened deeper in the body that may not have been as visible as the skin wound had been. Chiropractic treatments can help bring healing to the muscles and joints that may have also sustained harm during the force of action that caused a skin injury.

Acute Pain or Chronic Pain

Once an injury or incident has occurred, the human body has natural healing methods that help to regrow skin and bones, heal muscles, and restore joints. Chiropractic care helps to boost this natural ability regarding the musculoskeletal and neuromuscular systems. Low back pain assessment time comes when you have identified with one or more of these back pain red flags.

Acute pain refers to pain that occurs in a sudden manner and is usually severe in nature. Acute back pain may be the result of a fall, car accident, sports incident, or another onset event. Acute pain usually goes away as the injury heals. Treating acute pain helps the body to prevent chronic pain conditions. Recovery steps will depend on the needs of each patient and their specific pain symptoms.

Chronic back pain is persistent and can last for months or longer. Recovery options for chronic back pain sufferers will depend on what is causing each patient’s pain condition. Chiropractic care works to treat the underlying condition in order to help patients overcome pain. Removing the cause for pain is far more effective than treating just the symptoms.

Chiropractic treatments work to bring the body to a state of health in a way that helps to eliminate pain before it has a chance to become chronic. If chronic pain has already developed, chiropractic helps to diminish or eliminate the pain by working to restore communication systems that reside in the spine and joints of the body.

what is chornic pain

What Can Be Done to Relieve Back Pain?

If you have recognized one or more of these back pain red flags, there are things that you can do to help to reverse or eliminate their causes. Your specific pain condition will determine what exact treatments may be recommended. Low back pain assessments are recommended for helping to determine the best course of treatment. X-rays may be conducted to help determine the underlying cause of pain.

Back pain sufferers often want to know what they can do to help decrease back pain symptoms. Considering low back pain guidelines means that each patient must consider what actions may be contributing to their pain. Making adjustments accordingly can play a beneficial role in decreasing pain and preventing further difficulty.

Be sure to include these concepts in your lifestyle choices:

  • Ease inflammation through nutrition
  • Enjoy safe, consistent exercise
  • Use an ergonomic workplace
  • Maintain a healthy weight and posture
  • Receive chiropractic care fit to your needs

Chiropractic care plans may include spinal adjustment, physical therapy modalities, chiropractic massage, and spinal decompression. The DRS System is a highly advanced decompression treatment that helps to relieve pressure on the spinal vertebra. Low back pain sufferers often find great appreciation for this type of treatment.

Patients may also choose to enhance their recovery experience through multi-disciplinary approaches like the Alaska Back Pain Protocol. This intense therapy plan includes chiropractic care, the DRS System, and rehabilitative therapy. The combination of care types helps to dramatically increase the results for back pain sufferers. Individual plans are personalized and made to fit each client’s personal situation.

Where to Go for Back Pain Relief in Alaska

Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab offers personalized back pain therapy in Anchorage, Juneau, and Wasilla. The DRS System and the Alaska Back Pain Protocol bring highly advanced treatments to patients seeking back pain relief. Low back pain assessments are individualized to attain the information required to attain the best care possible – per patient.

Better Health Chiropractic utilizes a multi-disciplinary approach to back pain. Chiropractic care, chiropractic massage therapy, and rehabilitation therapy modalities are included in treatment programs to further increase each patient’s recovery experience. Traveling to multiple locations for care is not necessary. We house each type of care at our four clinics!

Let us help you direct your quest for health through effective and efficient care of the spine, joints, and back muscles!

Author: Dr. Brent Wells

Dr. Brent Wells has been a trusted chiropractor since moving his family from Oregon to Alaska back in 1998 and founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab – B.S. from Univ. of Nevada, Doctorate from Western States Chiropractic College, volunteer for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Foundation, and member of the American Chiropractic Association. As a chiropractor his focus is on family, including his 3 children and wife of 20+ years, his clinics, and ongoing education.

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