Back pain can become an issue that people experience so often that many sufferers try to ignore it. Though additional aches are a common part of aging, some backaches can signify severe problems.
There are several symptoms that may occur elsewhere in the body, causing the sufferer to think it is not back-related. However, these symptoms may signal a dangerous back or spinal cord condition that a person should not overlook.
Leg numbness or weakness
Nerves in the spine can compress and trigger numbness or weakness in the limbs. The cause may be spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spine), a disc injury or another injury. The final result could be permanent spinal cord damage or paralysis.
A lack of coordination
Difficulty balancing or walking may be a sign of something going wrong in the spine or back after an injury. Serious harm may not be immediately obvious. Since the spinal cord is a critical component of the nervous system, damage may display through a lack of coordination.
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Most people may relate trouble breathing to the lungs or stomach. However, muscles in the back support the breathing function. If these muscles undergo damage, a person may experience labored breathing.
Incontinence in the bladder or bowels
Lower back muscles are close to the abdomen, and problems in that location can lead to bladder and bowel control problems. Pinched nerves can also lead to incontinence. The sensations are not simultaneous in all cases, meaning a person may not make a connection between the two issues.
Don’t ignore symptoms after an accident. Severe back or spinal cord damage is not apparent in every instance and may have surprising side effects. When a person deals with symptoms like those above, a medical examination can help determine the root of the issue and prevent further damage.