Pain is unpleasant suffering caused by injury or illness. Back pain may be sudden/constant, dull, severe or not responding to short rest and medication. Constant pain in back in any region of the spine for more than a few days to weeks needs intervention.
Pain which is intense especially at night requires an urgent visit to a specialist.
Sudden onset of pain in the back with or without injury needs urgent attention.
Back pain with difficulty in walking, pain while getting up from a position of comfort, pain during change of posture or pain after prolonged sitting (for work) can lead to serious permanent damage, if left untreated.
Pain which travels to one or both legs may be due to pressure on the nerve/s and if left untreated for long can lead to permanent weakness or damage.
Pain associated with numbness, tingling or weakness in legs, especially below the knees, commonly called Sciatica, needs to be investigated. Various spinal ailments can lead to weakness in one or two limbs or all four limbs. There may be associated or isolated numbness (loss of sensation to touch, pain or temperature) without back pain.
Numbness, tingling or weakness may be the only symptoms without any complaint or without a history of back pain.
Problems related to bladder control which may be difficult to control, hesitancy in passing or dribbling of urine. This can be associated with constipation. Loss of bowel/bladder control is caused by pressure on spinal cord &/or nerves which may be due to injury, infection, disc prolapse or tumor.
Sudden swelling and redness in the back usually happen after an injury or accident but sometimes are signs of underlying severe illness.
Loss of normal shape/curvatures of the spine can present with or without pain. It can lead to forward, sideways or rarely backward bending.