Back pain affects millions of people worldwide and is a leading cause of disability. One of the most common reasons people go to their doctors is for back pain relief.
Typical signs and symptoms for back pain include muscle ache, shooting or stabbing pain, pain that radiates down your leg, limited flexibility or range of motion in the back. Non-surgical therapies usually help resolve most back pain within a few weeks after beginning treatments.
Although it is rare, there may be a more serious underlying condition associated with your back pain. See your doctor right away if you have back pain:
Any back pain that is does not improve with rest, spreads down one or both legs, causes weakness, numbness or tingling in hands or legs should be reviewed by your doctor.
Spinal tumors typically cause focused pain in the area where they are located and potentially cause weakness in the legs. Spine cancers may also cause neurologic signs and symptoms because they may be compressing the spinal cord or nerve roots. These signs and symptoms may look and feel like other spine conditions like a herniated disc or spinal stenosis, so patients need to learn to explain in detail what is going with their pain and other issues such as weight loss, fatigue, changes in bowel habits, and any history of cancer. Most spinal tumors are metastases, so serious symptoms may warrant the examination of the lungs, breast, gastrointestinal tract and prostate as they are the primary sources of cancers that spread to the spine.1