Practice Blog

5 Major Signs You Should See a Spine Specialist

October 21, 2020

Do you suffer from back or spine pain? If so, you’re not alone. According to the CDC, back pain affects about 28% of adult men and 31% of adult women in the United States. While some backaches only require a little rest, others can alert you to serious issues.

Read on to learn when you should see a spine specialist about your pain.


1. Severe Pain

Anytime you feel severe pain, you should consult a doctor. Pain ratings can vary from person to person, so you can only go based on your own judgement.

To decide if your pain is severe, answer a few questions:

  • Do I constantly notice the pain?
  • Can I sleep?
  • Am I crying out in pain?
  • Is it debilitating?

If you answer yes to one or more of these, set up an appointment with your spinal specialist.

2. Chronic Pain

While many people experience backaches, pain always indicates a problem in your body. Sometimes, the pain comes from sleeping wrong or pulling a muscle lifting something heavy.

But, this type of minor injury will quickly heal and the pain subsides within days. In some instances, it may take several weeks to heal a muscle or tendon injury, but it will gradually feel better every day.

You needed to worry about your spinal health when the pain feels worse over time, rather than better. This can hint to something much more serious and requires a spinal specialist.

3. Weakness or Numbness

Pain can cause you to avert certain movements in order to avoid discomfort. However, when you actually cannot perform normal tasks due to weakness, it could indicate a problem with your spine health.

Other concerning signs of spinal nerve injury include shaking, tingling and numbness. Tingling can feel hot, cold, or itchy, while numbness creates dead weight and lacks sensation in that area.

When a spinal injury occurs in the neck, you may experience these sensations or lack thereof in your arms or hands. Lower spinal injuries will create the weakness or numbness in your lower extremities.

4. Loss of Fine Motor Skills

Even if you can still feel your fingers, the loss coordination with fine motor skills can mean a nerve problem. This might look like the inability to write your name normally or to pick up small objects between your fingertips. Consult your doctor right away.

5. Incontinence

A healthy adult can normally hold their bladder and their bowels. If you suddenly cannot, then you may be suffering from a serious spinal injury.

While your bladder and bowels may still work fine, a spinal cord injury may disrupt the signals to them. This can cause you to lose control and requires medical intervention.

Keep Your Spine in Good Health

Your spine holds you up, and the precious cord inside delivers sensations and allows movements for your entire body. Injuries to the cord can result in partial or full paralysis. So, do your best to protect your spine.

If you do suspect a spinal injury, time is of the essence. Contact us right away to schedule your appointment.

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