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GOT THESE BACK PAIN SYMPTOMS? YOU SHOULD SEEK URGENT CARE.

For most people, most of the time, back pain, low back pain and sciatica pain are painful, annoying, uncomfortable...but rarely medically serious. 

But this isn't always true, and if you have back pain or sciatica pain, it's worth checking your symptoms against this list, in case you need to call your GP.

BACK PAIN OR SCIATICA PAIN SYMPTOMS THAT YOU SHOULD SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL HELP FOR

Content written by Vic Paterson, RAPID NeuroFascial Reset Specialist, BTEC L5 Soft Tissue Therapy (CSSM), Hypnotherapist, MFHT

State 11-53.webp

Cauda Equina Syndrome (CES) is a very rare - but very serious - condition involving the spinal cord and nerves that control the bladder, bowels and legs. 

If it's caught early, it's very easily treatable, but if it's ignored, it can result in incontinence or paralysis.  

If you develop any of the following symptoms after getting back pain, please go to your nearest A&E department or seek urgent medical help.
 

  • Loss of feeling or pins and needles between your inner thighs or genitals or numbness in or around your back passage or bottom.
     

  • Altered sensation when wiping yourself with toilet paper
     

  • Increasing difficulty when trying to urinate.
     

  • Increasing difficulty in stopping or controlling the flow of urine.
     

  • Loss of feeling when you urinate or empty your bowels
     

  • Recent leaking of urine or needing to use pads (this is not the same as "laughter incontinence" where you accidentally "leak" when laughing or coughing or sneezing).
     

  • Not being able to tell if your bladder is full or empty.
     

  • Changes to sexual function or a loss of sensation in the genitals when you have sexual intercourse. 
     

You should mention CES when you go to A&E, too.

BACK PAIN OR SCIATIC PAIN SYMPTOMS YOU SHOULD SEEK URGENT CARE FOR

If you don't have any of the CES symptoms listed above, but you do have any of the following symptoms along with your back pain, you should call NHS 111, or visit an urgent care centre as soon as possible: 

  • significant noticeable weakness of your leg causing you to trip/fall
     

  • you have difficulty walking because your legs are weak or feel stiff or uncoordinated
     

  • you develop a floppy foot

Woman at Work

BACK PAIN OR SCIATIC PAIN SYMPTOMS YOU SHOULD DISCUSS WITH YOUR GP URGENTLY

Image by Miryam León

If you don't have any of the symptoms listed above, but you do have back pain and:

  • a history of cancer
     

  • feel generally unwell and have developed a fever or night-sweats
     

  • are losing weight for no reason

then you should speak to your GP.

ARE YOU FEELING ANXIOUS?

Health anxiety is more common than ever, and at State 11 we appreciate that this information might be worrying for some people, especially with the increase in health anxiety that happened due to COVID.

Please remember that for most people, most of the time, back pain is a painful annoyance, but that's all it is. As soft tissue therapists, we're not legally permitted to diagnose any medical condition, and we don't have any MRI or X-Ray equipment. 

These symptom lists are taken from the NHS, and they're very broad.

For instance, it's very common to have night-sweats, feel unwell and have back pain if you have a very bad cold or even the flu. 

Likewise, back pain from using an unsuitable, uncomfortable office chair for a prolonged period of time can also cause tinging in the genitals (this would generally go away upon getting up or moving). 

Our primary concern is your well-being, and we don't want to take chances with that. We're very much of the "better safe than sorry" mindset!

In our five years of being in business, seeing thousands of people, we've asked less than twenty people to go to A&E or their GP because we were concerned about their symptoms, and in many cases they were checked over and nothing was found to be out of the ordinary. 

The chances are that you are fine, and this is regular ol' back pain. 
We care, we want you to be well, and making sure means we can help you get better again quicker. 

(If health anxiety is a real issue for you, hypnotherapy and coaching can help.
Check out our hypnotherapy service at Fantastic Day Hypnotherapy and Coaching, here)

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