Debilitating lower back pain

Patient

Q: My wife woke up yesterday with severe lower back pain. We were able to call in a prescription for cyclobenzaprine. It seemed to help a little bit along with some advil. However when she woke up the morning the pain seems to be worse, almost debilitating with terriblely painful spasms. Is it time to get her to thr hospital or doctors office?

Doctor

A:    It is important at this point to determine the cause of the pain,  if this is her first episode of low back pain, is it related to a physical straining activity or unusual effort, does she have kidney problems, the onset has been all the sudden, what other symptoms accompany the pain, is she feeling numbness or tingling on the toes, are there aggravating or relieving factors associated to the pain. If the pain has become too intense in a short period of time, I strongly advise you to take her to the emergency room so she gets a complete evaluation, lab tests, x-rays or other imaging studies and once the cause of the pain has been determined it will be easier to choose the proper treatment option for her.

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