Many people suffer with back pain in America. In fact, according to a study, 80% of the US population will experience the pain at some point in their lives. link to article
Low-back discomfort is the single biggest leading cause of disability in America. According to http://www.acatoday.org, back problems are the second-leading reason for visits to a doctor. Second only to upper respiratory infections.
So, with such a high prevalence of back pain cases, how do you know if your back pain is serious?
Let’s first define serious.
Merriam-Webster defines serious as not easily answered or solved.
Many cases of back issues actually resolve on their own. Meaning, the pain appears and then disappears without you having to consult with anyone, or do anything about the pain.
Other cases seem to drag on and on. Unrelenting, never seeming to let go or give up. These people are constantly dealing with the discomfort at work, home, and while at sleep.
So, are the cases that go away less serious than the cases that are more chronic?
The answer…not necessarily.
See, there is a process to pain and losing your health. It doesn’t happen overnight.
The first thing that happens is malfunction, then disease. Only after these two steps have occurred do symptoms show up.
Therefore, symptoms are signs that a problem has been around for a long time.
So, there’s a few things to ask yourself when you’re suffering with pain, whether it’s back, neck, knee, etc. to determine if it’s serious.
Keep in mind the intensity of the pain doesn’t always equal the seriousness of the problem.
- Did I recently do something that could have caused stress on my back (workout, heavy lift, long car ride, etc.)? All these situations could lead to a rise in temporary discomfort in your back. Although it might be painful, chances are the pain isn’t serious if it’s an isolated event.
- Has this pain occurred before? Many cases of pain occur and then go away. But, if it comes back again, it means there most likely is an underlying problem that’s made better or worse by something you’re doing, or not doing.
- Has the pain been around for more than 2-3-weeks, despite my best efforts to reduce it? This typically means the condition is chronic and you have a core problem somewhere.
If you have reason to believe your pain might be serious, I’d recommend consulting with a professional who can give you advice/help on how to correct the core problem.
Serious issues don’t get better on their own, they typically get worse. The sooner you act, the more likely you are to have complete restoration of the problem. The longer you wait, the more likely it is the issue will lead to permanant damage.
Improper movement is a huge piece to those suffering with pain (back, neck, shoulder, etc.). Therefore, we will be discussing proper movement and corrective exercises at the next PRIME Movement Seminar that will be held July 24th at Muv Lab. Call our office, PRIME Chiropractic: 720-676-6440 to get your tickets! Hope to see you there!