It could be a symptom of a serious disease, injury or even medical malpractice.
Back pain is a common physical problem that most of us experience at some point in our lives. Minor back pain can result from a variety of things, including physical strain, poor posture and a sedentary lifestyle. In the U.S., 10 percent of visits to a primary care physician are for back pain.
In most cases, minor back pain can be effectively treated with a little rest and over the counter pain relievers. However, if your back pain doesn’t improve with rest or hasn’t diminished after a month of home treatment, you should be checked by a doctor. Persistent back pain could be a symptom of a more serious, even life-threatening medical condition.
Types of Back Pain that Should Never Be Ignored
You should see a doctor immediately if you regularly experience any of these symptoms:
- Back pain that doesn’t go away after a reasonable amount of rest and home treatment. Any back pain that lasts more than a month or two should be evaluated by a physician.
- Back pain after an accident, especially if you experience any swelling or redness on your back. The symptoms of injuries such as whiplash may not manifest themselves until days after an accident.
- Pain after a spinal or other back operation. This could be indicative of a surgical or medication error.
- Numbness or tingling sensations in your back, arms, legs, or groin could indicate that one or more of the nerves branching off from the spinal cord has been damaged. Medical conditions associated with tingling and numbness include herniated discs, spinal stenosis and sciatica. Back trauma can also damage the nerves and cause tingling and numbness.
- Back pain that causes weakness or pain in your legs could be a sign of a serious spinal condition such as a degenerative disc disease or herniated disc.
- Back pain when in certain positions, such as lying down. This could be a sign of disc degeneration; a sprain, fracture, or other spinal injury; or diseases and conditions such as scoliosis, spinal stenosis, arthritis, kidney stones or even pregnancy.
- Back pain while bending over or coughing could be a symptom of a herniated, collapsed or protruding disc.
- If you have a history of cancer, back pain could be a sign that the cancer has spread to your spine.
- Bowel or bladder incontinence or constipation. Problems with urination or bowel movement (and sexual dysfunction in males), accompanied by back pain could be the result of an infection or something even worse: Cauda Equina Syndrome (CES). Cauda Equina Syndrome is a serious medical emergency that calls for urgent surgical intervention.
- If misdiagnosed, CES can result in permanent nerve damage.
- Back pain accompanied by weight loss or fever. This could be a sign of a spinal tumor or infection.
Back Pain and Medical Malpractice
When being treated for persistent back pain, it’s important that doctors and other healthcare professionals perform the necessary exams and tests to accurately determine the true cause of your back pain. A misdiagnosis or error in treatment could have devastating results for the patient, especially a misdiagnosis for a serious medical condition such as Cauda Equina Syndrome.
If you are suffering from persistent back pain due to the negligence of a doctor or other healthcare professional in Broward County, you have a right to seek compensation for your damages. Lisa Levine has successfully represented clients in back injury-related medical malpractice claims in Fort Lauderdale, Weston, Pompano Beach, Hollywood, Sunrise, Pembroke Pines, and other cities in Palm Beach and Miami-Dade Counties for 35 years.
Call the offices of Lisa Levine at (954) 256-1820 today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced, dedicated South Florida medical malpractice lawyer to discuss the details of your back injury medical malpractice claim. We handle most medical malpractice cases on a contingency basis, which means you will not be charged a single penny for our services unless we obtain a financial recovery on your behalf.