Nov 10, 2020


Interviewer: It's another edition of "ER or Not" with Dr. Troy Madsen. Play along and see if you know the answer. Today's condition, back pain. ER or not?

Dr. Madsen: Well, back pain is one of the most common things we see in the emergency department. So it's important to ask yourself, "Do I really need to go to the ER for this or can I go see my doctor?" The things I tell people they really need to go to the ER for are back pain that then has other symptoms with it like bladder issues or bowel issues. Like you try to go and you can't go or you just can't hold it. Those are much more concerning signs of possible spinal cord compression from a herniated disc in your back. That's something that you absolutely need to get to the ER for. Most other things, you can probably go in and see your doctor or go in and see a spine specialist.

updated: November 10, 2020
originally published: June 13, 2019

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