How much back pain is too much?

Although some back pain is only mild or moderate, severe back pain occurs when the pain is constant, severe, or worsens when you rest or at night. If back pain lasts longer than three months, it's considered chronic and may require a personalized treatment plan. Chronic back pain symptoms usually appear gradually and last longer than six weeks. As we mentioned, chronic pain is not usually caused by a specific event or injury, nor does it simply go away or heal on its own without medical treatment.

In fact, back pain is so common that many patients ignore symptoms that could indicate a medical emergency. Research shows that eight out of 10 Americans will experience some form of back pain during their lifetime. If back pain may be associated with a specific activity, such as lifting or spraining, and the pain goes away 72 hours after resting and applying ice, there's usually nothing to worry about. Muscle deconditioning, also called muscle atrophy, is one of the most common causes of chronic back pain.

Most acute low back pain is mechanical in nature, meaning that there is an alteration in the way the components of the back (the spine, muscles, intervertebral discs, and nerves) come together and move. Similarly, aortic dissection (the tearing of an inner layer of tissue in the aorta, the main vessel that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body) sometimes causes back pain and can be fatal if not treated right away. Recurrent back pain resulting from inadequate body mechanics can be prevented by avoiding movements that shake or strain the back, maintaining a correct posture, and lifting objects appropriately. Of those with back pain, one tenth (about 8% of the total population) suffer from the chronic type.

In addition to the NINDS, other NIH institutes, such as the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, fund research on low back pain. And because chronic pain is long-lasting, it often causes you to avoid physical activity or compensate for it in other ways, which can actually worsen pain in the long term. Occasionally, the cause of chronic low back pain is difficult to determine even after a thorough examination. While exercise alone may not be enough to compensate for an otherwise sedentary lifestyle, exercise can strengthen supporting muscles, which can prevent back pain caused by sitting.

The movements and exercises are designed to address the underlying causes of chronic back pain, so you can strengthen your back, condition your muscles and improve your mobility. Radiofrequency ablation involves inserting a thin needle into the area that causes pain through which an electrode is passed and heated to destroy the nerve fibers that carry pain signals to the brain. Next article Solve the back pain puzzle, one area of the spine at a time. Another study evaluates ibuprofen plus paracetamol compared to ibuprofen plus placebo in the treatment of acute low back pain.

Some medications or medical conditions increase the risk of patients having low bone density, vertebrae fractures, or back pain.

Marcie Macvicar
Marcie Macvicar

Extreme web nerd. Total food aficionado. Typical coffee evangelist. Alcohol enthusiast. Passionate coffee evangelist.

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