Conditions and Treatments

Red Flags and Spine Emergencies

There are certain spine conditions that require immediate attention by a spine specialist, such as those medical providers at Denver Back Pain Specialists, or which may require evaluation in an emergency department.

Sudden loss of bowel or bladder control can result from the pinching of the nerves to the bladder and bowel within the spine. This can be associated with a sudden loss of sensation at the buttocks and legs or weakness of the legs. When these symptoms are a result of pinching of the nerves in the lumbar spine, this is known as cauda equina syndrome. This is a true emergency, which requires immediate notification of your spine physician and evaluation within the day, possibly in an emergency department.

Severe head, neck, or back pain, especially when associated with: a) trauma; b) fever, chills, or sweats; c) neurological signs such as weakness or clumsiness, numbness or tingling, loss of bowel or bladder control, stumbling or falling; or, d) symptoms of brain dysfunction such as confusion, speech problems, or visual disturbances, requires immediate assessment by a spine physician or evaluation in an emergency department.

Arm or leg weakness is a sign of nerve injury and should be assessed by a spine and nerve specialist within days of onset. The spine physician lead team at Denver Back Pain Specialists, which has expertise in spine and nerve injury diagnosis and treatment, will determine the cause of the problem and develop an appropriate treatment plan that matches the seriousness of the condition. This treatment may include medications and therapy, spinal or other nerve injections, or timely surgical referral.

If you are experiencing neck, back, arm or leg pain, numbness, or tingling, but without the warning signs noted above, then you would benefit from a regularly scheduled appointment with Denver Back Pain Specialists.

If you are a current Denver Back Pain Specialists patient, or are newly referred to our practice, and are in need of evaluation for any of these conditions, please identify the seriousness of the problem clearly to our staff at 303-327-5511, or proceed to an emergency room, or call 911.

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