Back pain is one of the most common reasons people go to the doctor or miss work, and it is a leading cause of disability worldwide. It can range from a muscle aching to a shooting, burning, or stabbing sensation. In addition, the pain may radiate down your leg or worsen with bending, twisting, lifting, standing, or walking.
Most back pain will gradually improve with home treatment and self-care, usually within a few weeks. Contact your doctor if your condition:
- Persists past a few weeks
- Is severe and doesn’t improve with rest
- Spreads down one or both legs, especially if the pain extends below the knee
- Causes weakness, numbness, or tingling in one or both legs
- Is accompanied by unexplained weight loss
In rare cases, this type of pain signals a serious medical problem. Seek immediate care if your back pain:
- Causes new bowel or bladder problems
- Is accompanied by a fever
- Follows a fall, blow to your back, or other injury
The above information is for general education purposes only. Please ask your doctor specific questions during your visit.