How do you know when pain is related to a back or neck condition? Unfortunately, there are so many different diagnoses that it can be difficult to know whether you’re experiencing something that is normal, part of a back condition or something completely unrelated. While we can’t guarantee these symptoms definitely mean you have a back or neck problem, here are the top five signs you may need to see a spine specialist:
- Chronic pain – a little back pain here and there is normal, but when you have back pain that lasts for over four to six weeks, it could be a sign of something more serious. If you’ve been resting, icing and taking anti-inflammatories for your pain, and it still lasts over a month, you need to see a spine specialist in Philadelphia or New Jersey.
- Tingling or numbness – we don’t mean when your foot falls asleep. We mean a tingling or numb feeling that often shoots down your arms or legs and lasts for hours at a time. It can vary in intensity and length, but usually if the tingling or numbness continues enough that it affects your life, it’s a sign something is wrong.
- Nighttime pain – back pain is common when you’re doing manual labor or moving around a lot. But if you lay down at the end of a long day and the pain continues or gets worse, that’s not normal. If the pain gets so bad it wakes you out of your sleep, you need to see a spine specialist in Philadelphia or New Jersey immediately.
- Loss of bladder control – many people don’t associate incontinence with back pain, but it’s actually a symptom of one of the many conditions we treat at our spine center. Of course, accidents happen, but if your incontinence seems too frequent for your age, give us a call.
- Limited mobility – if your range-of-motion is limited or accompanied by pain or numbness, you may have a back or neck issue causing the problem. Rather than just feeling like you need to stretch, limited range-of-motion lasts an extended period of time and doesn’t get better with exercise.
If you experience any of these warning signs, it may be time to make an appointment with a spine specialist in Philadelphia or New Jersey. We specialize in a nonsurgical approach to back and neck options. Even though surgery is sometimes an option, we exhaust all other options first. Request an appointment from one of our board-certified physicians here.