Back pain is the biggest contributor to disability in the world and the reason most people miss work. And it affects everyone, from kids to the elderly. So, if you’re experiencing back pain, you’re not alone.

And if you’re thinking of seeing a chiropractor for upper back pain, you’re on the right track.

Medical studies give a big nod to the manipulation of the spine as the first line of care. It’s shown to be as effective as medical care and exercise and a conservative choice if the pain moves a tad down the spine — the only non-drug that’s safe and effective.

But how do I know when to see a chiropractor for back pain, you ask?

To help, we’ve put together seven signs to look out for that’ll tell you if it’s time to get into the chiropractic office. Keep reading to learn about and spot these easy red flags.

Then, if you’re experiencing one or more of these warning signs, make an appointment so that you can get the all-natural pain relief and healing you need so you can get back to your happy, thriving life!

1. You’ve Had Enough of Managing Your Upper Back Pain

If you’ve experienced persistent pain or discomfort in your upper back for a while but have just tried to manage it on your own, it’s time to reassess. This is especially true if you’re struggling with the pain and it’s wreaking havoc on your happy life.

If it’s causing you to miss work, school, or fun activities, you need to find a way to treat your back and get to the source to heal it.

Fair enough if you want to see if it’ll go away on its own, but if it’s been six-plus weeks to two months of pain, get thee to a chiropractor. It may not be an emergency, but it’s your life.

And if the pain is getting worse, it could lead to an emergency so go have it checked. You’re sure to enjoy the relief you get either way.

2. You’re Having Intense Pain

If the upper back pain you’re experiencing involves sharp pain and it’s been going on for seven-plus days, it’s time to make that appointment.

Pain that is ongoing and excessive, especially when you’re lying down in bed at night and not aggravating the area, is also a red flag.

Be on the lookout for pain that radiates through your leg or legs and down as well.

3. You’re Experiencing Tingly Prickles or Loss of Strength in Your Legs

You know that feeling you get like your foot or leg or an arm has fallen asleep? There’s that tingling sensation like you’re being pricked with little pins, and it’s sort of numb and weak because of the numbness.

Usually, this happens because you slept on your arm or leg weirdly and the blood isn’t getting in.

But if that’s not happening and you’re getting the feeling, especially if it’s combined with back pain and you’re not cutting off blood circulation and it lasts for a week for more, you need to get in to see a chiropractor.

4. The Area of the Pain Is Red or Swelling

Redness and swelling around the area of pain mean that you’re experiencing some kind of injury or trauma.

If it continues for about a week or gets extreme, it’s a sign that it’s time to visit the chiropractor for back pain.

5. You’re Experiencing One or More of These Unexpected Signs

There are several warning symptoms that you may not attribute to an issue in your upper back but that are red flags.

These include having a high temperature together with your back pain and having incontinence that you weren’t experiencing before together with the back pain.

Another red flag is if you have back pain and you start losing weight without trying to.

Head to the chiropractor if these warning signs appear.

6. You Injure Yourself or Have an Accident

Sometimes when you get hurt, you think it’s not that bad and you deal with the pain. But sometimes, even a little pain is a sign you need to see a professional to get you back on track.

If you have a car accident, go to a chiropractor. An injury could worsen over time and then the chiropractor will have something closer to a baseline to work with. Or the chiropractor will be able to spot an injury that hasn’t reared it’s painful head yet.

If you’ve had a fall and your upper back hurts after a week or intensely right away, go to the chiropractor.

If you’ve had a sports injury, go to the chiropractor. Even if you’re seeing an orthopedic doctor, physical therapist or another professional, a chiropractor can help with other issues that may crop up. You may overcompensate on one side, for example, due to an injury that can affect your spine.

7. You’re Experiencing Neck Pain

Your spine goes up into your neck, and neck pain is a big red flag. If you feel a crick in your neck or a tight and painful jaw, make a chiropractic appointment.

That pain, tingling, or weakness in the arms could be due to an issue in the neck, as can headaches and face pain. These are all warning signs that it’s time to get to a chiropractor for an evaluation and treatment.

Neck pain, just like back pain, can mean that your spine is out of alignment and you want your chiropractor to get it back to being just right.

Time to See a Chiropractor for Upper Back Pain

Now that you know the easy-to-spot signs that it’s time to see your chiropractor for upper back pain, you can make an appointment when needed or relax when it’s not.

Please reach out to us if you’re not sure about your pain, have questions, and/or would like to make an appointment for a consultation or treatment.

We’re here to help you thrive and stay fit with a healthy spine and body.