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When should you call the doctor about low back pain?

ANSWER

Most back pain gets better after a few weeks. But you should call the doctor if:

Go to the emergency room right away if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Your pain is constant or intense, especially at night or when you lie down.
  • Your pain spreads down one or both legs.
  • You feel numbness or tingling in one or both legs.
  • You’re losing weight without trying.
  • Pain after a fall, car crash or sports injury
  • Fever
  • Trouble controlling your bowels or bladder

From: Why Does My Lower Back Hurt? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

National Health Service (U.K.): “Back Pain Guide.”

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: “Low Back Pain Fact Sheet.”

Johns Hopkins Health Library: “Diseases and Conditions -- Low Back Pain.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Chronic Back Pain.”

Mayo Clinic: “Back Pain.”

American Academy of Pediatrics: “Backpack Safety.”

Reviewed by Lisa Bernstein on October 13, 2016

SOURCES:

National Health Service (U.K.): “Back Pain Guide.”

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: “Low Back Pain Fact Sheet.”

Johns Hopkins Health Library: “Diseases and Conditions -- Low Back Pain.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Chronic Back Pain.”

Mayo Clinic: “Back Pain.”

American Academy of Pediatrics: “Backpack Safety.”

Reviewed by Lisa Bernstein on October 13, 2016

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Should I call my doctor if I have back pain after an injury?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

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.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

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