When to consult your doctor

Most back pain is not serious, but it can be a warning sign of serious disease.

If you have any of the following symptoms with back pain you should immediately consult your GP surgery or telephone NHS Choices Free on 111.

  • Fever of 38ºC (100.4ºF) or above

  • Unexplained weight loss

  • Swelling in the back

  • Constant back pain that doesn't ease after lying down

  • Pain in your chest or high up in your back

  • Pain down your legs and below the knees

  • Loss of bladder or bowel control

  • Inability to pass urine

  • Numbness around your genitals, buttocks or back passage

  • Pain that is worse at night
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