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When to See a Doctor About Back Pain

Back pain is so common, it’s estimated that 80% of people in the United States experience back pain symptoms at some point.

The term “back pain” often refers specifically to lower back pain. The cause of your pain could be a variety of issues, but if you’re experiencing back pain for longer than three months, you may have chronic back pain. And chronic back pain can seriously alter your quality of life.

Edward Carden, MD, leads our compassionate team of pain management specialists in Sherman Oaks, California. As a specialist in pain management, Dr. Carden is experienced in seeking out the causes of back pain and recommending the best solutions. 

What causes back pain? 

Back pain has many causes, from overuse injuries to injuries resulting from car accidents to skeletal irregularities. Some of the most common causes of back pain are strains, sprains, and accidents. Pregnancy, kidney stones, and endometriosis can also cause back pain. 

Back pain affects people of all ages and from all walks of life. Children experience back pain less often than adults, but they can be treated for back pain, too.

When to see a doctor about back pain

If your back pain is affecting your quality of life, that’s your first sign to call your doctor. Here’s what else to look out for:

It hurts to walk

If your back pain is limiting your mobility, it’s time to call Dr. Carden’s office. Back pain this severe may result from an injury, but it may also result from spinal conditions that require treatment form a trained professional. 

Pain shooting down your extremities

If your back pain is accompanied by pain in other parts of your body, it could be a sign of an underlying condition. Pain in your arms and/or legs when your back is hurting could indicate that a nerve is pinched. 

Fever over 101

Your back pain might come with a fever. If this happens, it’s important to call us right away. It’s rare, but certain spinal infections can cause fevers. As with any spinal condition, it’s important to treat it as early as possible. 

A recent accident

This might seem intuitive to some, but everyone doesn’t know the importance of prompt medical treatment following an accident.

Whether you were in a car accident, experienced a fall, or were injured while playing sports, getting to the doctor is a priority. Accidental injuries can have long-term and lifelong complications, which include preventing you from playing a sport that you love. 

If you have osteoporosis

Primarily affecting women aged 65 and over, osteoporosis is a well-known cause of lower back pain. Bones lose their building blocks as we age, leaving them porous and brittle. 

Healthy bone is more resilient to impact, but people with osteoporosis are prone to spine fractures, which can cause severe pain. 

Risk factors for back pain

The older you are, the more likely you are to experience back pain. Your weight and fitness level can also affect your risk factors for back pain, as active individuals generally are less likely to develop chronic conditions. 

Working in a job that requires pushing, pulling, lifting, or being in any position that involves twisting your spine raises your risk of developing back pain. Similarly, working long hours at a desk is a risk factor for back pain. 

We’re here to help

The bottom line is that you don’t have to suffer with back pain. We specialize in diagnosing and treating a variety of back pain issues. We also thoroughly screen your symptoms and medical history for the best possible understanding of how to alleviate your pain.

If you’re suffering from back pain, don’t hesitate to call our Los Angeles area office today at 310-842-8668, or book an appointment with us online. 

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