If the condition isn’t treated promptly, patients will likely experience paralysis, complete loss of bladder and/or bowel control, sexual dysfunction, difficulty walking, and/or other neurological and physical problems.
Other symptoms include:
- Severe lower back pain.
- Pain, numbness or weakness in one or both legs that causes you to stumble or have trouble getting up from a chair.
- Loss of or altered sensations in your legs, buttocks, inner thighs, backs of your leg, or feet that is severe or gets worse and worse.
- Sudden sexual dysfunction
2. Nighttime Pain
Pain that hits during the night is often caused by an awkward sleeping position or muscles pulled during the day. However, if your pain hits as soon as you head to bed, and doesn’t improve by changing position, you may be suffering from a spinal issue. Probable causes include a possible tumor or spinal bone infection (4).
Tumors may also cause other types of back pain, especially pain that grows steadily and is mostly unaffected by position and activity. Cancerous tumors are also accompanied by pain that worsens with weight bearing, extreme fatigue, and other signs of being unwell.
Visit your doctor as soon as possible if you experience any of these symptoms, as well as (5):
- Unexplained weight loss
- Change in bowel habits of bladder function
- Unusual bleeding
- Lumps in your back
3. Hard to Pinpoint Pain
Experiencing generalized pain anywhere in your back may seem innocent, but it’s a tell-tell sign of heart problems. In fact, if your pain can’t be pinpointed to muscle knots or sore joints, you may be experiencing the first stages of a heart attack, especially the pain is spreading from your chest (6).
If you experience any of these symptoms, go to the ER immediately:
- Chest discomfort (uncomfortable chest pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain, burning or heaviness)
- Discomfort in other areas of the upper body (neck, jaw, shoulder, arms, back)
- Shortness of breath
- Shortness of breath
Symptoms vary between people, so don’t take the risk if you feel like something isn’t quite right and call emergency medical services immediately. In fact, some people do not experience any chest pain while others may have only mild chest pain or discomfort or may experience only one symptom.
After calling 911, stop all activity. Sit or lie down, in whatever position is most comfortable. If you take nitroglycerin, take your normal dosage or take an aspirin to break up the blood clot that is causing the heart attack. Rest and wait for emergency medical personnel to arrive. When they arrive, make sure to tell them the medications your regularly take or have taken throughout the day.
4. Morning Stiffness
The older you get, the harder it can be to wake up in the morning. While some aches and pains are nothing to worry about, pain lasting more than 30 minutes after waking up can be cause for alarm. This is especially true if the pain worsens when you aren’t moving. The likely reason for your discomfort is ankylosing spondylitis, a form of inflammatory arthritis that can cause your vertebrae to fuse together if left untreated.