Everyone experiences back pain on occasion, but when does that pain require more serious attention? You know your body better than anyone; if you sense something is seriously wrong, visit the closest Aurora ER immediately. Similarly if your back pain is so severe that waiting to see your primary care physician is not an option, you should go to an ER as soon as possible. Below are some symptoms and conditions that will help you decide whether or not your back pain needs more than an ice pack.

When to go to the ER – symptoms and conditions

Lower back pain is the most common type of back pain, which can occur anywhere from your buttocks to your rib cage. In most cases, lower back pain is caused by lifting heavy objects, reaching, twisting or stretching too far. With time and rest, its counterparts, upper back pain and middle back pain, often subside. However, if any of these pains persist even after rest, you should visit an emergency room near you as soon as possible, or if your back pain is accompanied by the following symptoms:

  • Numbness
  • Weakness
  • Fever
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control (incontinence)

Back pain in conjunction with certain medical conditions may indicate a more serious issue. Visit the ER immediately if you have any of the following conditions:

  • Recent physical trauma, especially if you are elderly
  • History of cancer
  • Recent immunosuppression, either from prescribed drugs or surgery
  • Intravenous drug use
  • Prolonged steroid use

Emergency expertise at an Aurora hospital near you

The Medical Center of Aurora is equipped with a Level II trauma center, stroke center and cardiac center of excellence, so we can offer exceptional care for a wide variety of emergency concerns. With a team of board-certified emergency physicians and certified emergency nurses on staff, patients receive the highest level of care for conditions needing urgent treatment. Our Aurora ER is dedicated to creating a patient-focused experience, and we strive to beat the national average ER wait time so that you have quick access to the highest quality emergency care.