When to Call a Doctor

You should call your doctor right away if your back or neck pain includes one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Is constant or intense, especially at night or when you lie down
  • Spreads down one or both legs, especially if the pain extends below the knee
  • Causes weakness, numbness or tingling in one or both legs
  • Causes new bowel or bladder problems
  • Is associated with pain or pulsation (throbbing) in the abdomen, or fever
  • Follows a fall, blow to your back, auto accident or other injury
  • Is accompanied by unexplained weight loss

See your doctor if you start having back pain for the first time after age 50 or if you have a history of cancer, osteoporosis, steroid use, or drug or alcohol abuse.

If the pain and inflammation isn’t noticeably better after 72 hours of home care, call your doctor for an appointment.


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