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Back Pain Warning Signs

The prevalence of back pain in our country often leads people to dismiss back problems as something that they just must learn to live with. We have a tendency to reach for whatever over-the-counter pain reliever is in the medicine cabinet and go about our daily business.

Often times, back pain is no cause for concern and a trip to the doctor unnecessary. However, in some cases back pain can signal a serious problem. Here are six fairly common back pain problems that are worthy of a call to the doctor:

Anytime you have severe back pain that lasts for more than three weeks, you should seek the help of a medical professional. While pain will often disappear with time and self treatment, persistent pain should be considered a warning sign and should never be ignored.

If you experience persistent and severe low back pain that extends down your leg, it could be a sign of a compressed nerve. If the pain increases when you raise your knee to your chest or if you bend over, chances are that a disc is irritating the nerve, and you should seek medical attention.

Persistent non-specific symptoms such as low back and buttocks pain, numbness, tingling, muscle tightness or weakness in the leg that is often aggravated by standing, walking and other activities could all be signs of a condition known as Spondylolsthesis, which occurs when a cracked spinal vertebrae slips forward over the vertebrae below it. Medical attention is required and there is an array of possible treatments available.