Most of us will experience back pain at some point in our lives and while it can be uncomfortable
and even debilitating, this problem is often short lived and is something we can manage ourselves
without having to take a trip to the doctor.
The trick is to know how best to deal with this discomfort if it occurs and to spot the signs of more
serious back problems that may require medical intervention.
If you’re wondering when to see a doctor about back pain, keep reading.
Our backs are prone to injury and seemingly small things can trigger pain in this part of our bodies.
From poor posture to strains caused by lifting objects incorrectly, there are a whole range of risk
factors to watch out for.
Aches are most common in the lower part of the back, but they can be felt right from the hips
to the neck.
If you’ve only had discomfort for a few days or weeks, you may find it resolves itself, and
there are things you can do to lessen the pain and speed up your recovery.
Over-the-counter painkillers can help to dull the ache and you can also use hot or cold
You might also benefit from losing weight to reduce the pressure on your spine.
increase your flexibility and muscle strength without putting strain on your joints.
In turn, this can help you to combat back problems.
Another tip is to watch your posture.
For example, when you’re standing make sure you balance your weight evenly across
both feet and keep your legs and back straight.
While sitting, ensure your lower back is well supported and keep your feet flat on the
floor or a footstool.
Pay attention to the position you sleep in too.
If you prefer to rest on your side, try placing a pillow between your legs, and if you
sleep on your back, consider putting pillows under your knees.
Alternatively, you can use an adjustable bed that helps you maintain the perfect
You might think that adjustable beds are for the elderly, but in fact they can be used
by individuals of all ages.
Signs You Should See a Doctor
Of course, there are cases when self-help techniques like these simply won’t cut it.
If your back pain is particularly bad or it hasn’t shown signs of improvement in six weeks
or more, it could be time to take a trip to the doctor.
Pain in this part of the body can be caused by potentially serious medical problems like
slipped discs, whiplash, frozen shoulder and sciatica.
You should also see your GP immediately if you have back pain coupled with unexplained
weight loss, a swelling in your back, pain in your chest, a loss of bladder or bowel control,
numbness around your buttocks or genitals, or you’re unable to pass urine.
These symptoms can be a sign of something serious and they need urgent assessment.
Back pain can have a big impact on your quality of life, so it’s crucial that if you experience it,
you follow the right self-care procedures and you know when it’s time to see a doctor.
Have you or a loved one experienced back pain?
What pain relief techniques worked for you?
Share your thoughts and comments with us.