If you’re experiencing pain in your lower back, that’s not all that uncommon. Many people experience low back pain at some point in their lives, and it usually goes away on its own within a few weeks or months. But if the pain is interfering with your ability to function normally, it’s time to get help.
In this video, we’ll talk about some of the signs that you should seek medical attention for your low back pain:
- 1. The pain radiates down one leg (not both legs)
- 2. You have numbness or tingling in one leg or foot
- 3. You have weakness or loss of balance
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.
Back pain is common and often gets better in a few weeks.
Back pain is common and often gets better in a few weeks. It can be caused by many things, including muscle strain and minor injury to the back. But sometimes, the pain is more serious. Nerve pain or weakness in a leg could be a sign of a herniated disc, but it’s not always easy to tell. Numbness or tingling in the foot or toes could also be a sign of sciatica.
If your back hurts, try these steps. Take ibuprofen or other anti-inflammatory medications as recommended on the package label. Rest as much as possible until the pain goes away (if it does). Go for gentle walks every day if this doesn’t make things worse for you, but it can often be a good idea to avoid anything too stressful, like running or lifting heavy weights.
Nerve pain or weakness in a leg
A herniated disc can cause nerve pain or weakness in a leg. A herniated disc occurs when the soft, gel-like material inside your spinal discs bulges out through an opening between two vertebrae. This can happen when you fall on your back, lift something heavy without bending at the knees, or twist your back.
A herniated disc may cause pain that radiates down one leg but not both legs. You may feel this pain only when you’re standing up and walking around, or it might eventually be present even at rest.
Weakness in one leg, especially the ankle or foot, can also be a worrisome sign of a herniated disc, especially if it’s gradually getting worse over time.
If you have these symptoms after an injury to your lower back area, see a doctor.
Numbness or tingling in the foot or toes
If you experience numbness or tingling in the foot or toes, it may be caused by a disc problem. Herniated disc material can put pressure on a nerve coming out of your spinal cord and result in numbness or tingling in one of the lower extremities.
If you are concerned about your back injury, talk with your doctor.
Your doctor can help you figure out what is wrong and recommend treatment options that may be right for you. If necessary, they may also refer you to a specialist who can provide additional care.
If your back pain does not get better after a few weeks, it is important to see a doctor. Your doctor can do tests to determine what is causing your symptoms and how best to treat them.
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