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When you should consult a Wyoming doctor about your back pain


June 5, 2019

Back pain is something that many people live with, but shouldn’t have to. If you are currently suffering from back pain, you should consult a doctor or Wyoming physical therapist and schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience. However, there are some instances in which you need to see a doctor immediately. If you experience any of the following accompanied with leg pain, get to a medical professional immediately. 

Leg Weakness
This one is a big one. If you are experiencing any leg weakness, or weakness in your hips or groin area, (in addition to back pain) you need to seek medical care immediately. Progressive leg weakness might be a sign of cauda equina syndrome, a syndrome in which the entire nerve sack in the lower back can be compressed. Besides progressive leg weakness, other symptoms can include loss of sensation and difficulty walking. When left untreated, cauda equina syndrome can cause paralysis and loss of bladder/bowel control. 

Unexplained Weight Loss
If you have rapid weight loss, for no apparent reason that is accompanied by back pain you could have a serious medical condition that would require further doctor consultation - such as cancer. However, typically cancer in your spine would result in the following symptoms: pain in the neck/back, loss of appetite, nauseous, vomiting, fever, chills, and/or shakes. If you have any of these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.

Abdominal Pain 
If you are experiencing severe, continuous abdominal pain in general you should seek a doctor’s assistance immediately. If continuous abdominal pain is accompanied with lower back pain, it can be a number of things but it depends on how soon your pain started. If your pain was sudden and a quick onset, it can mean that one of your arteries in the lower back are severely enlarged. If it was a gradual increase over time, you should talk to your doctor and be evaluated for possible causes. 

Sustained Fever
As usual, a fever can indicate an infection. Spinal infections are rare in general, but can occur after a surgery or when your immune system has been compromised. Once they do occur, they can cause severe pain or even impair motor functions in addition to the pain and fever associated with this type of infection.

There are some additional risk factors that should be taken in to consideration if you are experiencing back pain. If you have a history of cancer, trauma, other nerve compression symptoms, diabetes, and/or other recent infections. All of these can indicate a much more severe problem when back pain starts. As always, if you have concerns about your physical health and wellbeing please contact your local Wyoming physical therapist and doctor.

At North Platte Physical Therapy, we are here to help meet your needs when it comes to managing and healing back pain. We serve the communities of Wyoming and Nebraska with 22 clinics offering a full range of physical therapy services for post-cast recovery. Contact us today for more information.