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Back Pain

Health    Back Pain
Also called: Backache, Lumbago
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Are you suffering from Back Pain?

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
References: 1

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
References: 1, 2

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
References: 1, 2

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
References: 1, 2

Occurrence of Back Pain

Degree of Occurrence

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.
References: 3

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
References: 4

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
References: 5

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
References: 6

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
References: 6, 7

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
References: 7

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
References: 6

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
References: 1, 7


  1. Wikipedia Back pain - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
  2. NIH Back Pain - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
  3. Kiwerski JE. [Factors effecting frequency of occurrence of back pain syndromes]. Wiad Lek. 2011;64(2):118-21 - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
  4. Mayoclinic Back pain - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
  5. NIH Low Back Pain Fact Sheet - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
  6. Mayo Clinic Back pain - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
  7. NIH Back Pain - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
  8. Source:

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 10/08/2018.
This page provides information for Back Pain.