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You recently injured your back

This one’s obvious: Whenever you directly injure your back—say you fall, get in a car accident, or something hits you on the back—you’ll want to see a professional. “You very well could have a spinal injury,” says Dr. Troy Madison, an emergency room physician, on the podcast ER or Not. “That’s a very serious thing.” Madison recommends going to the ER. There, you’ll probably need an X-Ray or CT scan to assess the injury.

You’re losing weight

Rapid, unexplained weight loss is never a good sign. And when it’s accompanied by back pain, it could be a sign of a tumor in the spine. “A tumor can weaken vertebra, leading to fracture and pain, and it can also compress the spinal cord or its branches, leading to weakness, incontinence, and many other problems,” write Drs. Christopher Kelly and Marc Eisenberg, in the upcoming book, Am I Dying?!. If you have a known history of cancer or are a frequent smoker, get an evaluation ASAP. Some tumors start in the spine, but more often they spread there from another location, such as the lung, breast, kidney, and prostate—which makes getting treatment fast even more crucial.

You can’t control your bladder

Back pain combined with bladder or bowel incontinence, or a feeling of increasing weakness or numbness in the legs, pelvis, and hips, could be serious. “These symptoms may be indicative of caudi equina syndrome,” writes Dr. Syed S. Rahman of Westchester Health, “which is usually caused by severe compression of the entire nerve sac in the lower spine.” An infection or tumor is often to blame.

Your pain wakes you up at night

In many cases, back pain from overuse, as well as wear and tear, will feel better when you let yourself rest. But if you’re constantly waking up from your pain—and a terrible mattress has been ruled out—it could be a sign of something less benign, such as a tumor. If your pain is combined with a loss of appetite, fever, or weakness or numbness, get an evaluation now.

You’ve got stomach pain too

Localized back pain will rarely migrate to the stomach. Stomach pain, however, can often be felt in the back, which means that your back pain could be originating from the abdomen. A serious condition to look out for? An abdominal aortic aneurysm. “Acute lower back pain that does not follow an obvious trauma or movement associated with the onset of pain, can be a symptom of an enlargement of the aorta (large artery) in the abdomen, called an abdominal aortic aneurysm,” says Dr. Rahman. If your pain is severe and continuous, get to the ER.

You’re having spasms of back and pelvic pain

If your back pain is less continuous and instead occurs in spasms, you could be passing a kidney stone. If that’s the case, you may also notice some blood in your urine. Head to the ER to be diagnosed and treated. You’ll likely be given an IV to help flush out the stone.

You have osteoporosis

If you have known osteoporosis and your back pain comes on suddenly, you could have fractured a vertebrae. Common causes could be a recent fall, lifting something heavy, or even a violent cough. The pain should go away on its own, but if it persists you’ll need to see a doctor—you might need a procedure called vertebroplasty in which cement is injected into the vertebra to strengthen it.

You’re experiencing numbness

That fact that spinal cord damage could lead to permanent paralysis should be enough to get you to the ER stat if you’re experiencing back pain and numbness, especially in the legs. This condition often indicates an injury to one or multiple lumbar nerves, writes FrontlineER.com. “Injuries to such crucial nerves can cause total paralysis if they are not attended to on time,” they say.

SOURCE: https://www.rd.com/health/conditions/signs-back-pain-is-an-emergency/

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Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19

Dear Patients:

Our patients, employees and family are our top priority at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

We ask you to not visit any of our locations if you have symptoms such as fever, sneezing, coughing and possible shortness of breath.

Please cancel your appointment and re-schedule once you are feeling better and are no longer suffering with symptoms.

Only non-symptomatic patients will be seen. No exceptions.

Accompanying family members – including children – are asked to remain in the waiting area and will not be allowed to enter the exam rooms.

During this time of high concern regarding the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) we are taking extra precautions to maintain the highest possible standards of safety and cleanliness. Please be advised that we are carefully following recommendations from both the CDC and WHO and are here to help guide you through this time if needed.

Some steps we are taking to keeping safe:

  1. We know how important cleanliness is and always maintain the highest standards of cleanliness. To further offer you peace of mind, we have increased the frequency of the cleaning of our office.
  2. Rest assured that hand washing is strictly followed. Hand sanitizer is available to all staff and patients.
  3. Additionally, if you have recently traveled to a country with high rates of the coronavirus or have been on a cruise, please reschedule your visit for at least 14 days from your return date. We will gladly accommodate your needs to reschedule. At that time, a telehealth interface can be arranged if necessary.

Find up-to-date and accurate information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website and feel free to reach out with questions.

- Your team at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

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To learn more about Long Island Spine Specialists – and to discover how we can relieve your pain and help you find an improved quality of life – please contact our office today and schedule a consultation.

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