When to Worry About Your Back Pain

Is your back pain a sign of something more serious?

Back pain is a common problem that many Americans deal with. Unfortunately, it can be challenging to know when back pain is simply due to a simple strain or sprain or whether it could be something more serious like a compression fracture. Learn more about the signs and symptoms of a compression fracture and when to turn to our King of Prussia, PA, vascular doctor Dr. James McGuckin for your back pain.

Is your back pain something to worry about?

Regardless of whether your pain is acute or chronic, if it has lasted more than two weeks it’s worth seeing a doctor for a proper evaluation. Since some causes of back pain may be more serious and require immediate attention, it’s important that you don’t ignore these warning signs.

Acute back pain is often the result of overexertion, strains or sprains and will go away within a few weeks, while chronic back pain usually doesn’t go away on its own and may often require medical intervention from our King of Prussia, PA, team.

When should I turn to a vascular doctor?

If your back pain is caused by a compression fracture, our King of Prussia, PA, vascular team can help. It’s important to recognize the symptoms of a fracture. Back pain is the most common sign and it may either appear suddenly, resulting in sharp pain, or it may be gradual, dull and achy. Compression fractures are actually quite common in women over 50 years old. If you are a woman over 50 or you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis and you’re dealing with back pain, these could be signs of a compression fracture. Other warning signs of a compression fracture include,

  • Pain when lifting, even lighter items like groceries
  • Pain that’s exacerbated by standing or walking
  • Pain when bending over or twisting
  • A curved back

While a spinal fracture may heal on its own within 2-3 months, if you develop multiple fractures you may begin to notice other problems including,

  • Stomach issues such as weight loss, loss of appetite or constipation
  • Hip pain
  • Breathing issues

Imaging tests can be performed to check for spinal compression fractures.

How are spinal fractures and back pain treated? 

If imaging tests determine that you do have a compression fracture there are nonsurgical options that we’ll explore first including wearing a back brace or undergoing physical therapy. If these options aren’t providing relief from your back pain we offer a minimally invasive surgical procedure known as kyphoplasty, which allows us to fill the fractured space in the spine with a special cement to strengthen these areas.

If you are dealing with a compression fracture, it’s important to turn to the experts. Our King of Prussia, PA, vascular doctor Dr. McGuckin and the team at Pennsylvania Vascular Institute provides the latest in compression fracture treatment options. To schedule an evaluation, call us at (800) 296-9294.

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