About 4 out of 5 people have experienced, or will experience, low back pain. Low back pain can occur due to many reasons, including repetitive injuries, poor lifting techniques, sports collisions, poor work ergonomics, and improper sleeping positions. With muscle strains and sprains, a West Norman, Oklahoma physical therapy treatment usually helps relieve the tension and pain.
Although many cases of lower back pain are musculoskeletal injuries, not all of them are. Some back pain indicates something more serious, such as disc issues or life-threatening medical problems. Because of this, you should never ignore pain in the lower back, as getting it checked out right away could prevent future issues.
Signs of Something More Serious
Because back pain is so common, it can be easy to ignore it and pretend that it will go away. Although this is not a good idea for many reasons, the biggest one is that the pain may be indicating a more serious problem. Some symptoms that indicate you should seek medical treatment include:
- The pain is accompanied by incontinence
If you have low back pain and you are also having issues controlling your bowels or bladder, this indicates a more serious issue. This generally means that the nerves that control bladder and bowel control are compressed, possibly by a spinal disc or a bulge in the spinal cord. Not getting treatment right away could mean permanent issues with the nerves, which could result in chronic UTIs, kidney damage, or damage to the bladder.
- There is also a fever
A fever is one of the indications of an infection. A spinal infection, such as meningitis or discitis, could lead to brain or spinal cord damage. A fever may also indicate epidural abscess. An infection needs to be treated immediately.
- Radiating pain or numbness down the leg
Lower back pain that also moves down the leg or into the buttocks often indicates major nerve compression. This may be due to spinal stenosis or a herniated disc. With no treatment, this usually leads to long-term chronic lower back and extremity issues.
These issues usually require medical attention. However, also working with a physical therapy clinic in Oklahoma City, OK can help the patient return to normal function and prevent future issues.
Contact a Physical Therapist
If you do not have additional signs or symptoms with your low back, warning you of potential serious problems, you should still seek physical therapy for lower back pain. Ignoring it will not make the problem go away, and once back pain becomes chronic, it becomes harder to manage.
A physical therapist has the training and experience to treat a wide variety of low back pain causes. Through a combination of massage, trigger point therapy, manual therapy and heat therapy, a PT can help relieve pain in the muscles and help restore their normal function. They can also work with you to exercise the injured areas to restore balance and strength, which will not only prevent the same issues, but will also prevent new ones from cropping up.