Alarming back pain signs to watch out for

by Shaun Tan on Feb 17, 2023

Get your back check at a chiro

Alarming back pain signs to watch out for

Perhaps one of the common threads among humans – one that is universally felt regardless of race, gender, nationality, or language spoken – is back pain.

Jokes and exaggerations aside, there’s no questioning how widespread back pain is. Studies show that 80% of adults are bound to experience back pain. In Malaysia alone, it is said that back pain is so prevalent among adults that it’s nearing epidemic levels.

This condition does not discriminate — anyone can have it, but it’s true that certain lifestyle groups are more at risk to get it than others. These include the physically inactive, those who are overweight or obese, those working physically taxing jobs, as well as those with desk jobs, among others. And might we add to the list those who sit long hours without a comfortable, adjustable ergonomic chair?

If you’ve ever felt a dull pain in the back at least once in your life, you know how burdensome the pain can be to a person’s well-being. It’s a nuisance we wish we don’t have to deal with, yet it’s there. But at what point does back pain turn from being only a nuisance to a medical emergency? Get to know some alarming back pain signs to be wary of so you know if it’s time to give the doctor a visit.


1. If the back pain persists for an extended period

Mild back pain typically goes away within a few days to a few weeks. Also known as acute back pain, this type of ache requires minimal care and is expected to die out within a short period of time. And while it’s there, the pain shouldn’t be too detrimental to negatively impact someone’s normal daily functioning.

However, if the pain has been present for an unusually long period, showing no signs of subsiding, then maybe it’s best to consult a health professional and undergo tests to determine what the issue is before it gets anything serious.


2. If the pain is more intense than usual

Adults tend to shrug off back pain when it’s still tolerable. They’d think something along the lines of: “Maybe I just slept on the wrong side of the bed”, or “Maybe I’ve just been sitting for way too long; nothing a good stretch won’t fix”. But if the pain develops into something more intense, like a sharp pain that stings, making you lose focus, then that could be a symptom of something more serious such as a torn muscle, fracture, or an internal organ issue. If this happens to you, seek medical attention ASAP.


3. If the pain creeps up and weakens other parts of the body

Severe back pain is already a big issue on its own. But if the pain is ‘crawling’ or spreading to other parts of the body like the leg, hips, or buttocks, then this could be caused by compressed nerves. In other cases, the pain is paired with the weakening of the limbs, and this happens out of nowhere. Visit a clinic or hospital to get proper examination and treatment.


4. If the pain is coupled with numbness

Don’t take back pain with numbing sensations (or that prickly needle feeling) lightly. In worst cases, if the sensation is as persistent as the backache, this could be caused by a spine or nerve issue. Have your back checked as quickly as possible so you can be advised by an expert.


5. If the pain comes with fever or night sweats

It’s common to experience body aches and general discomfort when someone is nursing a fever. But what if it’s the back pain causing the fever? With a doctor’s expert opinion, they could trace it back to serious bacterial infection, tuberculosis, even rheumatoid arthritis, or something else. We’ll never know for sure unless you visit for a consultation.

Other signs to pay attention to:
  • Back pain is coupled with other joint pains
  • Back pain comes with difficulty controlling bowel movement or urination
  • Back pain occurs at the same time as an inexplicable weight loss or loss of appetite 
  • Back pain impedes usual movements such as bending, stretching, or straightening

It’s not too late to take care of your back

In recent years, the new generation of adults seems to treat having back pain as a rite of passage. To them, it’s just one of those “adulting” things one has to go through. While we can’t tell for sure if this is just an attempt to make light of their painful situation, we know there are steps you can still take to take care of your back – one of which is by switching from a normal chair to an ergonomic chair. This applies to people who find themselves sitting hours on end either for work, studying, or leisure. Ergonomic chairs are comfortable, adjustable, and more conducive to good posture.

Give your back some love and it will love you right back. Shop Alterseat ergonomic chairs today!