If you wonder if your back pain is serious, this video will help.

My name is Dr. David Geier – orthopedic surgeon, sports medicine specialist, and anti-aging and regenerative medicine expert. I help you feel, look and perform your best, regardless of age or injury.

Severe low back pain can be a sign of a serious condition, such as a herniated disc, but most cases of low back pain are not due to a serious condition. The majority of cases improve over time or can be successfully treated with rest and non-surgical therapies.

In order to determine if your low back pain is serious, you should see your doctor if:

You have back pain that lasts more than a few days

If you have back pain that lasts more than a few days – or a week or more, consider seeing your doctor. Back pain can be caused by a number of things, including muscle strain, torn ligaments or a pinched nerve in the lower back. Ignoring your symptoms could make them worse and lead to further complications down the road. Even if the pain turns out to be caused by a muscle strain, the doctor can suggest treatments that get you better faster than just rest alone.

Your back pain keeps you from doing normal activities, and the pain is not relieved by rest, ice or over-the-counter medication.

Resting can be helpful, but only if it means taking time off from activities that cause pain. If you’re still in pain after resting, it’s time to see a doctor.

You have numbness or tingling or weakness in your leg.

If you have numbness, tingling or weakness in your leg, ankle or foot, it is important to see a doctor. The doctor will perform a physical exam and may order x-rays or an MRI. Pain that radiates down your leg, numbness, tingling, or weakness in that leg or foot might be a sign of a nerve injury from a herniated disc or degenerative changes in the lumbar spine. An orthopedic surgeon or spine specialist might recommend an injection or even surgery depending on the exact cause and severity.

You have increased difficulty urinating or you feel a burning sensation when you urinate.

These are not symptoms of an orthopedic condition, but they are still important to watch out for. If you have back pain and blood in your urine, it could be a sign of a kidney stone or bladder infection. If you notice blood in your urine, see your doctor immediately. If you have increased difficulty urinating or feeling like there is something stuck in your bladder when trying to urinate, it can be due to an enlarged prostate gland. I’m not a urologist, so don’t rely on me for advice about these types of symptoms (and in these videos, I cannot give you medical advice anyway), but I do want you to be aware of these symptoms if you have them and recommend that you see a specialist.

Back pain is among the most common reasons for people to visit their doctor. Back pain is a symptom of something wrong in your body – not necessarily serious, but definitely worth investigating further if you’re experiencing severe discomfort. The good news? Most cases are easily treated and resolved within days or weeks with rest, over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen (Advil) and acetaminophen (Tylenol), physical therapy exercises, and more.

We are looking for 5 patients with low back pain who want to get significantly better in the next 30 days, without cortisone shots, physical therapy, or surgery. Click this link and enter the term ‘Interested’ in the description box to learn more.

This post is meant for educational and informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice.