There are some people who ignore neck or back pain because it usually goes away on its own. The most common cause of back or neck pain is muscle injury, which is due to repetitive motions, heavy lifting, and overuse.  While muscle injury may not sound like a serious issue, the pain associated with it can be severe.

However, if you are in doubt about the severity of your symptoms, it is time that you call a doctor or consider To help you, here are the signs when it is time to see a doctor:

If the pain keeps you awake at night
Generally, back or neck pain that keeps you awake at night is not life threatening but it is still best to get checked especially if the pain is accompanied by fever. You must know that back or neck pain with fever may be a sign of an infection like meningitis. Infections, no matter the type, can escalate quickly. Knowing this, do not delay visiting the doctor so there will be speedy diagnosis and proper treatment, which can ultimately save your life.

If you have a cancer history
If you have cancer history and you experience back pain for the first time, it may be a warning sign for ovary, colon or rectum cancer. In fact, according to the American Cancer Society, growing cancer can put pressure on organs, blood vessels, and nerves. These pressures will then lead to back pain. The worse thing is that the pain will not transpire until the tumor is large. With this, you need to consult the doctor immediately.

If you are over 50
As you age, the potential for back or neck pain increases. According to a study published in Menopause Review, the increase of back or neck pain coincides with women undergoing perimenopause.

If you have bowel or bladder problems
If you notice that controlling bowel and bladder becomes a problem, you should seek medical attention immediately. You should keep in mind that bowel and bladder inconsistencies are symptoms of cauda equine syndrome. This is a very serious condition that requires emergency back surgery.

If you had a fall or accident
If you recently experienced a fall, blow or any accident with back or neck pain, you should go to the doctor right away – even if you managed to walk away intact. For people with osteoporosis and have recently fallen, the chances of an injury to the spine are higher.

If the pain radiates down to one leg or arm
Weakness, numbness and tingling sensations that go down in one leg is called sciatica. To diagnose sciatica, the doctor will conduct the dermatomes test.

If bending lower back makes the symptoms worse
If you have leg pain that gets worse when you bend, it could be an indication of disc problems like bulging discs, herniated discs, and degenerative disc disease.

If the pain persists
If your pain lasted longer than three weeks, it might be chronic. Chronic pain refers to a pain that lasts longer than the expected healing time for any injury. Having this means the pain is amplified. The sooner the pain is assessed, the sooner the treatment will start.