Comment savoir si un mal de dos est grave ?

Written by Bloon Paris

05/06/2024

How do you know if back pain is serious?

How do you know if back pain is serious?

Back pain is a common pain for many of us, however your back pain should get your full attention because it can sometimes be a sign of very serious health problems. In this specific case, it is natural to wonder how to know if back pain is serious? In this article we answer your question by informing you about the symptoms and causes of serious back pain, but also about the precautions to take.

I - Symptoms of back pain that should not be ignored

When you have back pain, it is important not to underestimate your symptoms and know which ones may hide a serious illness.

Pain under the neck

Pain below the neck, in the upper back may be due to muscle tension, joint problems, and may indicate serious back pain such as a herniated disc, cervical nerve irritation, or spinal stenosis.

If you suffer from upper back pain, difficulty turning your head associated with weakness and pain in your arms or shoulders you should consult a specialist.

Pain accompanied by tingling or numbness in the limbs

Back pain with tingling or numbness in limbs such as arms or legs indicates compression of a nerve or group of nerves.

If you have difficulty getting up or drag your feet when you walk, and have a feeling of heaviness and loss of control in your legs in addition to your back pain, you may have a bone spur (growth bone around a joint) or stenosis (slow narrowing of the spinal canal).

Pain with bladder disorder

If your back pain is accompanied by an inability to control your bladder such as loss of urinary control, difficulty urinating and a feeling that your bladder is not completely emptied, this corresponds to a disruption of the spinal canal. This means that the compression of your nerves impacts the transmission of information between your brain and the organs controlled by your nerves. Which results in a temporary loss of bladder control.

Nerve compression occurs when a nerve is squeezed or pinched due to pressure from bones, surrounding tissues or intervertebral discs. This can lead to muscle weakness, pain and tingling in the affected area. Nerve compression can signal a herniated disc, spinal fracture, tumors, infections, or spinal stenosis.

This requires immediate intervention to avoid serious complications such as paralysis or permanent nerve damage.

Back pain and fever

In general, a fever can have multiple causes. However, a fever related to back pain may hide something more serious such as a spinal infection, kidney infection, or epidural abscess.

An epidural abscess is the presence of pu in the area surrounding the spinal cord and nerve roots. Typical symptoms of this condition are persistent back pain, fever, stiff neck and chills.

II - Possible serious causes of back pain symptoms

Herniated disc

A herniated disc occurs when the disc between your vertebrae moves out of its normal position. This causes pressure on the nerves located all around. Depending on where the herniated disc is located, the pressure causes numbness, pain, or tingling in your limbs. Disc herniation can be due to trauma, or to sudden or repetitive movements.

Vertebral fracture

A vertebral fracture is a broken or cracked spinal bone. A spinal fracture can be caused by a fall, accident or contact sport. Symptoms include loss of sensation in the limbs, persistent back pain, or in some cases even spinal deformity visible to the naked eye.

Spinal infection

A spinal infection or 'spondylodiscitis' is an infection of the discs, bones or tissues in your spine. The infection is usually caused by bacteria, viruses, or even fungi. Symptoms of a spinal infection include fever, chills and neck pain. Such infection requires proper treatment in order to avoid serious complications like permanent damage to the nervous system and spine.

Spinal tumor

A spinal tumor is an abnormal growth of cells in or near the spine. This tumor can cause serious neurological problems, weakness in the limbs and numbness. This type of tumor arises from the bones or tissues around the spine or nerves.

III - What to do in case of severe back pain?

In the event of severe back pain, it is important to react as quickly as possible to avoid any worsening. First, we advise you to consult a specialist in order to obtain a precise diagnosis of your condition.

Obtaining an appointment with a specialist such as a chiropractor, physiatrist or physiotherapist can take time, so we recommend that you rest and avoid any inappropriate activity while waiting for your medical consultation. You can take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications to relieve pain or apply ice to reduce inflammation. Certain gentle exercises recommended by professionals can also help prevent pain.

Finally, to know if your back pain is serious, simply listen to your body for symptoms that indicate serious back pain, such as fever, pain under your neck, bladder problems, or tingling. or numbness of the limbs. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should consult a healthcare professional as soon as possible to prevent your condition from worsening.

FAQ: How do you know if back pain is serious? All the answers to your questions.

  • How do you know if back pain is serious?

    • To know if back pain is serious, you must base yourself on the intensity of the pain as well as the accompanying symptoms, such as difficulty moving, fever, bladder problems, numbness or tingling sensations.

  • What does the presence of pain under the neck mean?

    • Pain below the neck can be due to muscle tension, poor posture, or problems like a herniated disc. If it lasts a long time or gets worse, talk to a doctor.

  • When does back pain accompanied by tingling or numbness in the limbs become a concern?

    • If these symptoms do not go away or you have difficulty making movements with your limbs, this becomes concerning and may indicate a nerve problem.

  • What are the potential dangers associated with bladder or bowel problems in back pain?

  • The potential dangers associated with bladder or bowel problems in cases of severe back pain are the contraction of a serious illness such as a herniated disc,

  • a serious injury to the spine, or a tumor. All of these diseases are caused by severe compression of the nerves or spinal cord and can lead to paralysis of the limbs.

  • How to distinguish ordinary back pain from back pain associated with fever?

  • If you have a fever in addition to your back pain for several days, this may indicate severe back pain and may be hiding an infection.