Back Pain

Also called: Backache, Lumbago

If you've ever groaned, "Oh, my aching back!", you are not alone. Back pain is one of the most common medical problems, affecting 8 out of 10 people at some point during their lives. Back pain can range from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp pain. Acute back pain comes on suddenly and usually lasts from a few days to a few weeks. Back pain is called chronic if it lasts for more than three months.

Most back pain goes away on its own, though it may take awhile. Taking over-the-counter pain relievers and resting can help. However, staying in bed for more than 1 or 2 days can make it worse.

If your back pain is severe or doesn't improve after three days, you should call your health care provider. You should also get medical attention if you have back pain following an injury.

Treatment for back pain depends on what kind of pain you have, and what is causing it. It may include hot or cold packs, exercise, medicines, injections, complementary treatments, and sometimes surgery.

NIH: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

Symptoms of Back Pain

The following features are indicative of Back Pain:
  • pain
  • burning sensation
  • weakness

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Common Causes of Back Pain

The following are the most common causes of Back Pain:
  • muscle strains
  • muscle spasm
  • muscle imbalances
  • disk breakdown
  • injury to the spinal muscles or ligaments

Other Causes of Back Pain

The following are the less common causes of Back Pain:
  • spinal disc herniation
  • degenerative disc disease
  • spondylolisthesis
  • cancer
  • kidney stones
  • inflammatory disease
  • stress conditions

Risk Factors for Back Pain

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Back Pain:
  • smoking
  • overweight
  • heredity
  • poor physical fitness
  • lack of exercise

Prevention of Back Pain

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Back Pain. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • exercise regularly
  • maintain normal body weight
  • limit heavy lifting

Occurrence of Back Pain

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Back Pain cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Common between 1 - 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Back Pain can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Back Pain can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Back Pain

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Back Pain:
  • X-ray: To view the alignment of the bones
  • Magnetic resonance imaging: To generate images that may reveal herniated disks
  • Blood tests: To determine whether you have an infection or other condition
  • Bone scan: To diagnose the bone tumors or compression fractures
  • Electromyography: To calculate the electrical impulses produced by the nerves and the responses of the muscles

Doctor for Diagnosis of Back Pain

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Back Pain:
  • Physical therapist
  • Chiropractor
  • Acupuncturist

Complications of Back Pain if untreated

Yes, Back Pain causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Back Pain is left untreated:
  • permanent neurological damage

Procedures for Treatment of Back Pain

The following procedures are used to treat Back Pain:
  • Surgery: To treat the back pain and lowers the pain

Medicines for Back Pain

Below is the list of medicines used for Back Pain:

Self-care for Back Pain

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Back Pain:
  • Exercise regularly: Strengthen the back and abdominal muscles and improves your posture
  • Maintain a healthy weight: Prevents back pain
  • Avoid heavy lifting: Helps in preventing back pain
  • Eat healthy diet: Lessens the back pain

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Back Pain

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Back Pain:
  • Massage: Ease the symptoms of back pain
  • Acupuncture: Relieves pain and restore health

Patient Support for Treatment of Back Pain

The following actions may help Back Pain patients:
  • Education: Emphasizes the importance of staying active and reduces the stress and worry

Time for Treatment of Back Pain

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Back Pain to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • In 1 - 3 months

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Back Pain.
Back Injuries
Herniated Disk
Spinal Stenosis
Spine Injuries and Disorders

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