Some back pain is inevitable. But if quality of life has become compromised, you can’t perform daily functions or have new weaknesses, this may be a sign of something more serious, said Clay Elswick, MD, a spinal neurosurgeon at Medical City Arlington.
More intense back pain can perhaps be indicative of a larger concern such as a neurological compromise or spinal cord compression that will sometimes manifest itself with the following symptoms:
- Lost feeling in the leg
- Numbness in the leg
- Shooting pain in the thigh or leg
- Compromise of bowel or bladder functions
For more mild non-inflammatory, chronic back pain, heat may help relieve some of the symptoms such as tension on the muscles. And for inflammatory back pain with more acute lumbar strain, try ice on your back to reduce the swelling. Anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Advil and Naproxen, may be helpful but be sure to follow the directions, take the medication with food, and only if you don’t have a sensitive stomach.
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