I had a fall down around 14 carpeted stairs 5 days ago and now I am experiencing severe lower back pain which has got worse in the last 2 days. Bending, moving around and even sitting is painful. My mother has a degenerative spinal disc problem which started when she was having me 30 years ago. Should I go see a Doctor?
Usually, it is recommended that a patient see a physician if the back pain does not start to get better after of few days of rest and progressive mobilization; or if the patient has areas of persistent numbness or tingling in the lower extremities.
You have had a "trial of life" in terms of any thing such as an unstable fracture. If it was going to be a problem, it would probably have shown up by now.
If you have been mostly at bed rest, you may need to start mobilizing yourself. Usually, no more than 72 hours or so of bed rest is recommended. More than that can actually cause more back pain. Gradual mobilization is begun, which at first is just getting up and moving around, walking is a great exercise for back pain patients. Water exercises are also very good. The warmth of the water makes the tissues more pliable and the buoyancy takes the weight off the body. So, if you have access to a pool, or even a hot tub, that can help a lot in mobilization.
Once the patient is beginning to mobilize, then physical therapy can be started for flexibility and strengthening.
However, if you have tried to mobilize and you are still in significant pain, which does not seem to be getting any better, you may want to see your physician.