What Causes Back Pain
There are a lot of different reasons you may have back pain. By far, the most common causes of back pain are pulled muscles, sprains, and muscle spasms. These can happen from minor injuries to the muscles and ligaments in the back.
There are some other causes of back pain, but they arent as common. The causes correspond to conditions that affect:
Vertebra: the bones that make up the spine
Vertebral discs: the padding in between the bones of the spine
Nerves: of the spinal cord
Other organs: that arent related to the spine
Lets go through these causes in more detail. Conditions that can affect the vertebra or the vertebral discs include:
Vertebral fractures: These are breaks and cracks in the bones that make up the spine. This can happen with things like motor vehicle collisions or even with minor falls.
Herniated or ruptured discs: This can occur when the discs between the vertebrae change shape and position, similar to how jelly might squeeze out of a jelly-filled donut if you pushed down on it. There can be pain due to a lack of cushioning for the spine or a bulging disc that presses on nearby nerves.
Back pain can also come from a problem with the nerves in the spinal cord. Nerves leave the spinal cord at many different places along the spine. Some examples of problems with the nerves include:
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Or get a ride: As long as you can walk to a car and do not have the symptoms listed above, someone a friend, a taxi can take you to the hospital. Dont drive yourself and when in doubt, call 911.
Go to the closest hospital: When transporting yourself to the ER, your priority should be to get there as quickly as possible. Theyll stabilize you and transfer you to another hospital if needed.
Make a list: If youre unable to respond to EMS providers questions, theyll look in your wallet for info, says Dr. McGann. Keep a list there of meds you take along with emergency contacts. As a backup use an app, like the Health app in iOS or ICE Standard for Android, that can store info on your lock screen.
When To Go To The Emergency Room For Abdominal Pain
Stomach pain can be caused by a number of factors. Some types of stomach pain require immediate medical intervention, some dont. In fact, statistics show that over 15% of all emergency room visits for abdominal pain are categorized as a serious condition.
So how does one know when to go to the emergency room for abdominal pain?
Ectopic Pregnancy If you are pregnant, and your abdominal pain is severe and is accompanied by vaginal bleeding, this may be a symptom of an ectopic pregnancy.
Ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg attaches outside of the uterus. Commonly, the fertilized egg gets implanted in the fallopian tube. In a case like this, the pregnancy cannot continue normally, and requires emergency medical intervention.
The risk for ectopic pregnancies increases with the presence of a pelvic inflammatory disease, or the use of fertility drugs.
PancreatitisPancreatitis occurs when ones pancreas becomes suddenly inflamed. This happens when digestive enzymes activated before they are released into the small intestines. As a result, the enzymes attack the pancreas.
Typically, pancreatitis falls into two categories: acute and chronic.
The type of abdominal pain that is caused by pancreatitis radiates to the back, and is accompanied by nausea and vomiting, as well as fever.
AppendicitisAppendicitis is common among children and adults alike. For all cases of appendicitis, it is usually treated as a medical emergency.
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If Your Child Has These Symptoms Emergency Care May Be Necessary:
Seek pediatric ER treatment if the abdominal pain meets the following factors:
- The child is inconsolable
- Pain is severe and unrelenting
- The abdomen is tender to the touch or pain radiates to your child’s back
If your child meets any of following conditions and is experiencing abdominal pain, your child should visit an emergency department right away:
When To Go To Er With Heat Exhaustion
- Confusion or change in mental status, unusual behavior, difficulty waking, changes in vision, difficulty speaking, severe “worst headache ever” Neurological symptoms could be signaling stroke, brain embolism or aneurysm, or concussion if a head injury is involved. Do not hesitate. Time to care is critical!
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Three Things To Look For With Stomach Pain
Suhail Sharif, MD, a general surgeon at Medical City Fort Worth and Medical City Alliance says there are three things you should look for that can help diagnose the source of abdominal pain, including:
- Type of pain: Is it a dull, achy, constant pain? Or more of a sharp, stabbing pain that comes and goes? This can tell doctors a lot about what might be going on.
- Location of pain: Pinpointing the exact location can be difficult, but try to narrow it down to the upper abdomen, the lower abdomen, the right side or the left. The abdomen has multiple organs, Dr. Sharif says, and as such any organ can cause abdominal pain.
- Additional symptoms: Are there other symptoms associated with your abdominal pain, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, bloating or indigestion? Your doctor will take all of these into account when making a diagnosis.
Abdominal Pain And Preexisting Conditions
Stomach and abdominal pain may be an indication of a more serious issue for individuals with certain medical conditions. If you have any of these medical conditions in combination with severe abdominal pain, you should visit an emergency department immediately:
- Individuals ages 45 years old or older experiencing upper abdominal pain or tightness in the chest
- Individuals who have undergone gastric bypass surgery
- Individuals who recently had endoscopy or abdominal surgery
- Women who are pregnant or who could be pregnant
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Your Stomach Pain Is Accompanied By Other Severe Symptoms
When severe stomach pain isnt your only symptom, that increases the likelihood that you are suffering from a serious medical condition. Symptoms to be concerned about include but are not limited to:
- Bloody diarrhea
- Bloody or burning urine
- Bowel movements accompanied by vomiting
- Chest pain or pressure
- Coughing up or vomiting blood
- Diarrhea lasting more than 5 days
- Difficulty Breathing
- Inability to pass a stool
- Neck pain
When To Call Your Healthcare Provider
Some kinds of stomach pain need immediate attention. With others, you can call or visit your healthcare provider. It can be hard to know what you should do. Listen to your body and trust your instincts if you’re not sure.
If you have any of these symptoms along with stomach pain, call your healthcare provider within a day or two:
- Excessive vaginal bleeding or blood clots
- Vaginal bleeding that lasts for longer than usual
You should also call your healthcare provider if you have stomach pain while you are being treated for cancer.
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How Is Abdominal Pain Diagnosed
A clinician will take a history of the childs abdominal pain, how and when it started, the location and type of pain, and how it has progressed over time. If the child has any allergies or a history of food intolerances, parents should let the clinical team know.
The childs pediatrician may order tests of the childs blood, urine, and stool to rule out specific conditions associated with abdominal pain. If the child’s medical history, exam, or lab tests raise further questions, more in-depth tests, such as an x-rayorendoscopy, may be necessary.
Conditions That Require Er Visit
Not sure what to do if you have abdominal pain? Would you know when it is time to visit an emergency center or if your abdominal pain is an emergency? Some pain may go away without treatment, but there are instances when you are experiencing severe abdominal pain.
If you have the following abdominal pain symptoms, It is time to visit the closest emergency room.
- Fever greater than 101
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Youve Got A Cut And Are Bleeding Like Crazy
Think about: Needing stitches. One minute youre cutting up tomatoes for a salad, and the next minute your kitchen looks like a crime scene. Even small cuts can produce what appears to be a lot of blood. Its hard for someone whos not a doctor to know which wounds need stitches and which dont, but the majority will heal without treatment, says Sean McGann, MD, an emergency medicine physician at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. That said, an especially deep cut could result in damaged nerves or tendons, and, of course, heavy bleeding that wont stop is always an emergency. Stitches will also minimize scarring, and ER staff can clean out the wound to prevent infection and give you a tetanus shot if you havent had one in the past five years.
What to do: Put direct pressure on the wound for at least 10 minutes . Head to the ER if bleeding doesnt stop blood is spurting out the cut reaches the bone, muscle, or fat or you dont have normal movement or sensation beyond the wound. Youll also need medical attention if the cut stops bleeding but the edges are jagged or gaping, its on your face, or you cant get it clean. If you have a clean wound thats stopped bleeding but still arent sure whether you need stitches, go to urgent care to save on waiting time. Or call your doc: You may be able to text a pic so he can make the call, says Dr. McGann.
When To Take Your Child To The Er For Abdominal Pain
Most children experience abdominal pain at one time or another. In some circumstances, this pain can be a simple reaction to food and activity or a symptom of stomach flu or food poisoning. In other cases, stomach pain can indicate a larger issue. It is important for parents to be able to recognize the symptoms that may indicate that a child’s pain is severe enough to require an emergency department visit.
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What Not To Eat
Pay attention to all the foods you are eating while managing diarrhea and vomiting. Avoid the following foods:
- Spicy foods
- Fatty foods, including fried foods, greasy foods, and junk foods
- Beans and vegetables that cause gas, such as broccoli and cauliflower
- Heavy proteins, including pork, steak, and salmon
Should You Go To The Er
When faced with an issue that requires medical attention, its tough to decide what to do next. Here, an emergency room doctor gives his advice to help you decide if an ER visit is necessary
Its Monday morning and youre rushing to start your day. Suddenly, a busy moment turns frantic by the sound of your four-year-old son cryinga plaintive sound that tells you instantly hes coming down with something that needs medical attention.
You have a maze of options: family doctor, urgent care centre or walk-in clinic, or the ER. But where should you go to get the best and most timely advice? The right answer depends on a number of factorseverything from whether or not your family doctor double-books appointments to how serious little Johnnys symptoms are. Here is some medical wisdom that can help you decide if you should go to the ER.
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You Have Undergone Certain Procedures
After certain types of surgical procedures, moderate to severe stomach pain could indicate a serious complication. These procedures include:
- Abdominal surgery
- Bowel resection
- Gastric bypass
- Gastrointestinal procedures
If you are experiencing stomach pain after one of these procedures, do not hesitate. Head to the emergency room as soon as possible.
You May Have Appendicitis
Appendicitis happens when there is a blockage in your appendix. It requires emergency surgery to avoid complications. If you dont get your appendix removed, it can lead to a life-threatening infection as your appendix can rupture.
The most common symptoms of appendicitis are significant pain in the lower right abdomen, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, or fever.
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Dizziness 3 Confusion And/or 4 Clumsiness
Mild dizziness or forgetting where you put your glasses dont qualify. You can bring those up to your doctor at your next office visit, or go to an urgent care for a quick checkup.
The important words here are SUDDEN and/or SEVERE.
However, if any of these symptoms come on suddenly or are severe, call 9-1-1 or get to an emergency room:
- Clumsiness, loss of balance, or fainting
- Unexplained loss of consciousness
- Difficulty speaking or trouble understanding speech
When To Go To The Er For Abdominal Pain
- When to go to the ER for abdominal…
Abdominal or stomach pain is something almost everyone experiences from time to time. So when is your pain, or that of a loved one, severe enough to warrant a visit to a Denver emergency room ?
Listen to your gut. If the pain is abnormally intense and feels as though you need help right away, see a doctor immediately. Below are some guidelines that will help you decide whether or not your stomach pain needs emergency care.
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When Should You Be Concerned About Abdominal Pain
Abdominal pain is common, and everyone experiences it at times. In fact, it is the most common reason people are evaluated in most emergency rooms. While most abdominal pain resolves on its own, it can represent something serious or even deadly.
So, how can one know when to be concerned? Below are some characteristics that can help a person decide when evaluation is necessary.
Signs You Need To Go To The Er
No one likes to have their fun interrupted by a bump, bruise, cut, headache or tummy upset. So how do you decide when home first aid, virtual care or a trip to urgent care will do or when there’s a serious emergency requiring you to call to 911 or go to the ER?
If there’s any doubt, follow this rule of thumb: It’s better to go and know than to wait and debate. Each year, more than 12 million emergency room visits are for incidents serious enough to result in hospital admission.
- Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath It could be from asthma, allergies, overexertion or a serious lung or heart condition. Any struggle to catch a breath warrants immediate, emergency medical attention.
- Chest or upper abdominal pain or pressure lasting two minutes or more Maybe you overindulged on spicy barbecue and its just a case of heartburn. But unexplained chest pain could be a heart attack and every second counts! Be aware that men and women experience different symptoms of heart attack and be sure you know the signs.
- Unusual abdominal pain The ER is best equipped to diagnose and treat sudden, serious abdominal pain that could signal appendicitis, gallbladder, liver or kidney problems or an intestinal blockage.
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When To Visit The Er For Abdominal Pain
- When to Visit the ER for Abdominal…
Everyone experiences abdominal pain at one time or another. But how do you know if your pain, or that of a loved one, is severe enough that it requires an emergency department visit?
The short answer is, if your gut tells you that you need help right away, you should visit the emergency department. If you’re not sure whether emergency care is necessary, consider these guidelines.
Should You Go To An Urgent Care Center Or An Emergency Room For Abdominal Pain
Its rather obvious that youve had some stomach pain or discomfort at one time or another. Abdominal or stomach pain denotes any discomfort in your body, which occurs between your pelvis and the chest. Most abdominal pains are mild, and theyre caused by various problems, which include muscle strain, indigestion, or food allergies.
In mild cases, symptoms often resolve on their own after a short while or after effective treatment. Common abdominal issue causes include:
- Endometriosis or menstrual cramps
- Bladder or Urinary Tract Infections
On the other hand, abdominal issues accompanied by chronic or severe symptoms may be an indicator of a serious underlying condition. For instance, abdominal pain resulting from appendicitis, organ failure, or advanced cancer may require emergency care. The less common abdominal issue causes, which often warrant emergency care, include a ruptured appendix, hepatitis, food poisoning, hiatal hernia, invasive cysts, bowel, pancreatic, or stomach cancer, gall bladder stones, kidney infections, abdominal organ infarction, and cardiac problems such as congestive heart failure or atypical angina.
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When Is Abdominal Pain An Emergency
Your abdomen houses a lot of your bodys most important parts and processes, including several key organs and your digestive tract. Thats why pain in your abdominal area can be difficult to nail down. Is it just a stomach ache, or is something more serious going on in your abdomen?
Our dedicated team at Smart Clinic Urgent Care is knowledgeable about the various causes of abdominal pain and can help you find the right treatment to ease your discomfort whether its minor or an emergency. We offer expert care for abdominal pain at our clinics in West Covina and Santa Clarita, California.
But when should you come see us? Heres a look at some warning signs that your abdominal pain could be something serious that warrants a prompt visit to the doctor.