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Back Pain? When Do You Need to See a Doctor Immediately!

This article is a transcribed edited summary of a video Bob and Brad recorded in August of 2022. For the original video go to

Bob: So as part of our back program, it is incumbent upon us to make sure that you're going to see the doctor in a timely fashion if one of these things happens.

Brad: Sure.

Bob: I want to make sure that you're not sitting at home and things get worse and all of a sudden, you're going to need surgery.

Brad: Right because there are situations, which don't happen very often but then you need to see the doctor much sooner than later. We'll let you know if you answer these and it's an emergency here.

Bob: Right, so if the pain starts traveling down your leg and it goes below your knee, I would probably see the doctor.

Brad: Yeah, because you likely have got a pinched nerve.

Bob: Right. Brad, do you want to take this one?

Brad: If your leg, foot, groin, or rectal area feels numb and you also may have some loss of bladder control.

Bob: You could have a tingling sensation.

Brad: Yep. And where you sit in a saddle, everything is numb in there. That's a big problem and you need to see the doctor. You may even want to go to the emergency room.

Bob: That's one where you see the doctor right away.

Brad: If your doctor's not available, go to the emergency room.

Bob: Again, I don't know if you caught that but it's called saddle anesthesia because the area where you would contact a saddle is where you would have the sensation.

Brad: Yeah.

Bob: If you have a fever, nausea, vomiting, stomach ache, weakness, or sweating, you're not feeling well and you're having back pain, you actually should probably see the doctor.

Brad: You're saying that they came together at the same time.

Bob: Right, right.

Brad: It's not like you've had back pain chronically for the last month and you get sick then they're not necessarily related.

Bob: You're not going to be surprised to hear this, Brad but I've been seeing now, in fact, we're going to have a doctor on to talk about this. With COVID, you actually can get excruciating, excruciating back pain. Ellen DeGeneres got this.

Brad: Oh really?

Bob: Yeah, do you know who she is?

Brad: She's a woman, I suppose. I don't know.

Bob: Yeah, she's a comedian. So, all right. Like Brad said if you lose control when you're going to the bathroom.

Brad: Yeah. Yeah, that's very critical.

Bob: How about the next one, Brad, your legs are weak.

Bob: Ah, weakness in the legs. So a common one is if you're walking and you have foot drop or foot slap where your foot just drops. And you have a hard time dorsiflexing or pulling your foot up. So that's weakness in there. That's the L5 nerve being impinged one way or another. Then you need to get to the doctor. Or if you just feel weak and you have this tendency to actually drop the foot or lose your balance, get to the doctor right away. That's a big problem.

Bob: You wouldn't think you would have to say this, but if your pain was caused by injury or trauma such as a car accident, you have to see the doctor.

Brad: Yeah, right.

Bob: And you know what's funny, you have the adrenaline after a car accident so it may not hurt until the next day.

Brad: Right, exactly. That's very common because like you said, adrenaline's going, and you think "I feel okay now." I mean you're just happy to be alive. Or you know, the inflammation hasn't swollen and created the pain yet, which happens by the next day.

Bob: How about the next one, your pain is so intense you can't move around.

Brad: Yeah, when you can't, and I've had that. Where you're walking all hunched over and it hurts and you sit down real slow.

Bob: Right, and the final one is it just doesn't seem to be getting better. If you've had it for two, three, or four weeks you probably should go in and make sure something else is not going on.

Brad: Right.

Bob: If it's the first time you've had back pain, you know, if you normally get back pain, you know.

Brad: Yeah, you know, you went out and you did something silly, you started cutting a tree down or moving some brush or did some gardening for three hours. And you know, it typically hurts after that. People usually know that.

Bob: Just as a final statement, I want people to know this is a part of a series of videos on back pain. It's free. You go to and go to the program section. You'll find one on sciatica if you have sciatica, and also on back pain and also on shoulder pain, and knee pain.

Brad: Right, yeah. We have plantar fasciitis. The beautiful thing about all these programs, they have a title of anywhere from 20 to 40 videos per diagnosis and there are free PDF printouts that show the exercises and a review of the video that goes along with it.

Bob: All right, thank you for watching.

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