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When should I call the doctor about nocturnal back pain?

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Other "red flags" for spinal problems include:

If one or more of these symptoms accompanies back pain -- especially if you have a history of cancer -- see your doctor right away. It's also important to call the doctor if your back pain is the result of a recent injury.

It's important to note that it's rare that nighttime back pain is caused by a tumor, infection, or ankylosing spondylitis.

  • Back pain that spreads down one or both legs
  • Weakness, numbness, or tingling in legs
  • New problems with bowel or bladder control
  • Pain or throbbing in your abdomen
  • Fever
  • Spots warm to the touch
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • History of cancer
  • History of a suppressed immune system
  • History of trauma

From: Nighttime Back Pain WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

StopPain.org: "How Frequently Does Low Back Pain Occur?"

Harding, I. , September 1, 2005; vol 30: pp 1985-1988. Spine

The Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Center, P.A.: "Things that Go Ouch in the Night."

MayoClinic: "Back Pain."

Kramarich, S. Summer 2005; pp 23 - 26 Northeast Florida Medicine,

Family Doctor.org: "Low Back Pain"

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskelatal and Skin Diseases: "Back Pain."

Diagnosis Pro: "Nocturnal Back Pain."

Albert Einstein Healthcare Network: "Frequently Asked Questions: Questions about lower back pain."

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on October 29, 2017

SOURCES:

StopPain.org: "How Frequently Does Low Back Pain Occur?"

Harding, I. , September 1, 2005; vol 30: pp 1985-1988. Spine

The Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Center, P.A.: "Things that Go Ouch in the Night."

MayoClinic: "Back Pain."

Kramarich, S. Summer 2005; pp 23 - 26 Northeast Florida Medicine,

Family Doctor.org: "Low Back Pain"

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskelatal and Skin Diseases: "Back Pain."

Diagnosis Pro: "Nocturnal Back Pain."

Albert Einstein Healthcare Network: "Frequently Asked Questions: Questions about lower back pain."

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on October 29, 2017

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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