Back Pain You Shouldn’t Ignore

Back Pain That May Be Serious

Back pains—we’ve all felt it, grumbled about it, and maybe even popped a pain reliever or two for it. But in fast-paced Singapore, where kopi breaks are snatched between meetings and deadlines chase us down the road, it’s easy to dismiss a backache as just another “kena siok” moment. But hold on, lah! 

Some back pains aren’t just temporary niggles; they could be red flags waving for more serious underlying issues. So, before you self-diagnose with another Kopi overdose, let’s talk about the back pains you shouldn’t ignore:

Feeling and Causes of Pain in The Back

1. Pain Radiating Down Your Legs: Ever felt that pins-and-needles sensation shooting down your leg from your lower back? That could be a pinched nerve, often caused by a herniated disc. Ignoring it might lead to long-term nerve damage and chronic pain, no joke.

  • Feeling: A sharp, shooting pain or tingling sensation traveling down one or both legs from your lower back.
  • Causes: 
    • Herniated disc: When the inner jelly-like core of a spinal disc bulges out, it can press on a nerve root, causing radiating pain.
    • Spinal stenosis: Narrowing the spinal canal due to bone spurs or thickened ligaments can pinch nerve roots, resulting in leg pain.
    • Sciatica: This specific type of pain involves the sciatic nerve running down the back of your leg. It can be caused by either a herniated disc or spinal stenosis.

Backaches That Won’t Leave

2. Pain That Won’t Quit: Back pains that hangs around for more than a few weeks, especially if it’s getting worse, is not your “ah, pengsan liao” friend. It could be a sign of arthritis, spinal stenosis, or infection. Don’t let it become your constant companion; seek medical attention!

  • Feeling: A dull, aching pain that lingers for weeks or months, often worsening with certain activities.
  • Causes:
    • Arthritis: Inflammation of the joints in your spine can cause persistent pain, stiffness, and decreased mobility.
    • Osteoporosis: Weakening of bones can lead to compression fractures in the spine, resulting in chronic back pain.
    • Fibromyalgia: This chronic pain condition can affect the muscles and ligaments in your back, causing widespread pain and tenderness.

3. Fever + Back Pains = Big No-No: If your backache comes with a fever, it’s time to ditch the kopi and head to the doctor. This could be a sign of a serious infection, like an epidural abscess, which needs immediate medical intervention.

  • Feeling: A significant back pain accompanied by fever, chills, and night sweats.
  • Causes:
    • Epidural abscess: A serious infection in the space surrounding the spinal cord. Immediate medical attention is crucial.
    • Kidney infection: Bacteria in the kidneys can cause back pain that radiates to the groin and is often accompanied by fever and urinary symptoms.

Back Pains May Lead To Feeling of Weakness

4. Weakness + Loss of Control: Tingling or numbness in your legs alongside weakness, or even worse, losing control of your bladder or bowels, is a big red flag. These symptoms could point to cauda equina syndrome, a rare but serious condition requiring emergency treatment.

  • Feeling: Tingling or numbness in your legs, muscle weakness, difficulty walking, or even bladder and bowel control issues.
  • Cause:
    • Cauda equina syndrome: A rare and serious complication of a herniated disc where multiple nerve roots become compressed. Requires immediate surgery to prevent permanent neurological damage.

5. Sudden, Severe Pain: Did you lift something you shouldn’t have, and now your back feels like it’s about to explode? Sudden, severe pain could be a muscle tear or even a fracture. Don’t be a hero – rest and get immediate medical attention.

  • Feeling: Intense, sharp pain that comes on suddenly after lifting something heavy or experiencing a fall.
  • Causes:
    • Muscle tear: Sudden, forceful movement can tear a muscle in your back, causing sharp pain and difficulty moving.
    • Spinal fracture: A serious injury to the vertebrae, often caused by a significant impact. Seek immediate medical attention.

Remember About Back Pain

While most back pains eventually fades with rest and TLC, there are cases where ignoring it can have serious consequences. Don’t wait for the pain to become your boss – listen to your body and seek medical advice if you experience any of these red flags.

Also, experiencing these pains doesn’t automatically mean you have a serious condition. However, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and consult a doctor if you’re experiencing any red flags or persistent pain that impacts your daily life.

By understanding the different types of back aches and their potential causes, you can be more proactive in your health and seek help when necessary. Listen to your body, trust your instincts, and don’t hesitate to prioritize your well-being.

Low Back Pain

Back Pains Key Takeaway

Don’t delay! If you’re experiencing any red flags, schedule an appointment with your GP or a pain specialist. Early diagnosis and treatment can make a world of difference. Stay Informed: Learn more about healthy practices from reliable sources like theThe Singapore Sports and Orthopaedic Clinic (SSOC).

We are your one-stop shop for conquering knee pain. Our team of skilled orthopaedic specialists and physiotherapists has seen it all when it comes to knees, and they’re equipped to tackle your pain with a personalized approach.

Don’t let back aches steal your spirit!

Take action today and Contact us for a consultation. Find our clinic here. Take control of your back health and return to your regular daily life.

Taking care of your back is an investment in your well-being. Don’t let back pains hold you back from enjoying your kopi, your hawker fare, and all the good things Singapore has to offer. Listen to your body, be proactive, and remember, seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. 

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