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Back Pain: When to See a Doctor

April 3, 2006 02:27 PM

By Jim Brown, Ph.D., Executive Editor, Sports Performance Journal (www.athletesperformance.com), Author, Tennis: Steps to Success

If we were to run to a doctor with every backache, we’d never have time to play tennis. So how do you know when a back injury is serious enough to seek medical attention? Here are some warning signs suggested by the Hughston Health Alert:

  • moderate to severe back pain that lasts longer than one week
  • unexplained fever that accompanies back pain
  • redness or swelling on the back or spine
  • pain that radiates down the legs
  • pain that is caused by a traumatic injury that occurs during training or competition
  • leg weakness or numbness

Any kind of acute back injury that results in a loss of feeling, numbness, or weakness in the lower extremities needs immediate medical attention. In these cases, an injured tennis player or other athlete should not be moved except by qualified medical personnel.

© 2006 HMS Publishing, Inc.
Jim Brown will be contributing new content to this site on a monthly basis. If you have a question for Dr. Brown please feel free to email him at
sportsmed@mindspring.com.

 

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