5 Signs a Back Injury Is Serious: When to See a Spine Doctor

holding lower back in pain with the pain area highlighted red

One in every five workplace injuries is a back injury. This may say something about our need to improve workplace safety. However, it also indicates just how common these types of injuries are.

Back pain is hard to ignore, but many of us try to. We may think we are too busy or we will deal with it later. But this is not beneficial. Recovery from a back injury usually gets harder as you age.

A spine doctor can help you solve your injuries before they get worse. Do you want to know more about spine injuries and the signs you should visit a specialist? You are in the right place. Keep reading to find out more.

Your Spine and Spine Injury

Your spine is structured as a number of discs, one on top of the other. These discs, or spinal vertebrae, help hold the back and keep it upright. These 26 discs also help protect the spine from injuries and damage.

But these discs are susceptible to injuries of their own. These discs surround the spinal cord and stretch from the brain stem down to the lower back.

These vertebrae are also important parts of the human nervous system. All along the stretch of the back, there are nerves and sensory portions that connect. These systems communicate to the rest of your body.

A spine injury can affect the rest of your body through this system. They are essentially all connected.

How Does Your Spine Get Injured?

You can injure your spine by doing many activities. Sometimes injury occurs only after prolonged exposure to a certain excursion or experience. You may ask, when should I see a spine doctor though?

We will help you get to this point. But first, we will explain some common ways people damage their backs. Some of the most common ways to injure your back include:

  • Falling on ice
  • Falling on hard surfaces
  • Playing a high impact sport
  • Bending/twisting without stretching
  • Accidents (car, automobile, etc)
  • Infection
  • Birth defects

This is not an exhaustive list. But, it does give a broad overview of potential ways to injure and damage your back. People do not always realize that things such as bad posture can also affect your back.

Injuries occur from falls and infections., but also from consistently poor behavior. The back is an important part of your body and affects every system, so being aware of this can help protect it!

Types of Serious Back Injuries

Serious back injuries include sprains and pulled joints. These rarely last long and may require simple rest and basic stretching. But, when compounded with other injuries or done enough times, they may require more.

Back infections include fungi infections and bacterial infections. Disc infections, or Discitis, include a bacterial infection of the discs themselves. Actual infections of the bones themselves are commonly known as Osteomyelitis. Each of these is very rare, but very dangerous.

You can also damage your back by breaking portions or fracturing parts. These are serious, but the healing process differs based on where the injury is. Here are common warning signs you should see a professional about your pain.

1. Trouble Relieving Yourself

Trouble relieving yourself could reveal an injury to your lower back. This injury could be something as simple as a sprain. However, it can also be because of bacterial issues.

Bacteria can invade this region, causing your urine to burn like a UTI. Make sure if you experience these symptoms, you get help right away. Especially if it is after an injury or surgery.

2. Issues Breathing

Breathing issues can be caused by acute pain in your lower or middle back. There may not be any actual issues with your lungs or esophagus, though.

Issues with breathing may just mean that your back is injured. It could hurt to stretch when breathing because of damage in any portion of the back.

3. Difficulty Walking

Difficulty walking could be because of a possible back injury. It depends a little on your actual symptoms versus your known injury.

If you notice pinching and hot redness along the base of your back, see a spine doctor. This could mean you have an infection and need treatment right away.

4. Noticeable Bulges or Hunching

These symptoms could mean you have herniated or bulging discs. These are very painful, especially over prolonged periods. If you notice these symptoms, make sure you get them looked at.

Herniated discs could affect your lumbar nerve or other nerves. When this happens, it can affect your ability to walk due to pain.

5. Reduced Height

See a doctor if you notice you are shrinking or having difficulty stretching to your full height. There are many causes of this, but they can be serious.

If you have arthritis or osteoarthritis it can create this issue. Or there can be other spinal issues that prevent your back from stretching out.

Should You See a Spine Doctor?

There are serious injuries and infections that warrant seeing a spine doctor immediately. These injuries can become worse or spread as they go untreated.

However, it is important to note that your spine is a vital part of your body. A damaged or injured spine can affect your ability to work out. It can prevent you from enjoying life and experiencing certain things.

Even if you do not think you have a life-threatening issue, a spine doctor can help. Since your spine affects so much, treating it can really make a difference.

Visit a Spine Doctor Today

Visiting a spine doctor may seem like a big decision, but we hope this article helps you recognize the spine’s importance, and why you should do what you can to protect it.

The spine affects so many systems, and a damaged spine can decrease the number of experiences you enjoy. Something as simple as walking is more difficult, as is sitting and sleeping.

Are you wondering where there are spine doctors near you? Look no further. Our staff at New York City Spine service New York and New Jersey. Contact us today.

At New York City Spine Surgery, our standard for excellent care means treating you as a whole person, and not just another spine disorder on a chart.

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