When should back pain be alarming?

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. However, if the pain gradually persists, comes on suddenly, or doesn't go away, you may have a more serious condition. Most back pain goes away on their own. However, if your back pain has been persisting for more than two weeks without improvement, has been coming and going for some time, or if you have any alarming symptoms, don't delay the care you need.

After all, it's much easier to take care of yourself when you can move around painlessly. Most back pain gets better in a few weeks without treatment. Over-the-counter pain relievers usually help reduce back pain. You may also want to apply cold or heat to the painful area.

Sudden low back pain can be extremely debilitating and frightening. It can happen anywhere and at any time. Maybe during a workout, a bad squat made you feel agony. Or maybe you picked up something heavy while doing household chores, only to feel a throbbing pain near your spine.

This isn't remotely surprising to anyone who paid attention to back pain in school, but it's good to have some concrete facts about it. The most common symptom of acute back pain is a throbbing, burning, or aching pain that comes on suddenly. This evidence is the first of its kind, a rarity in low back pain research, a field in which almost everything has been studied until death. Smoking can help reduce blood flow to the spine and cause you to age faster, increasing the risk of low back pain.

And as you progress, you'll learn to continuously improve and maintain your back strength on your own, so you can keep back pain at bay for the long term. The pain side alone doesn't tell us much, and most of the one-sided sources of pain are the viscera that usually cause abdominal pain instead of or in addition to back pain. The most worrisome types of back pain rarely involve severe pain, and many common problems (such as disc slips) are mostly much less serious than is feared. Most people who mark one or two things don't have an ominous cause for their low back pain.

Occasionally, back pain is a warning sign of cancer, autoimmune disease, infection, or a handful of other scary factors. Some types of cancer in their early stages can be difficult to differentiate from common back pain (a bone cancer in the vertebrae), for example, and these create a frustrating diagnostic problem. This Australian study concluded that “the prognosis is moderately optimistic for patients with chronic low back pain, which contradicts the common fear that any low back pain that lasts longer than 6 to 9 weeks will become a long-term chronic problem. This is because the most common causes of low back pain are due to muscle and ligament sprains, muscle fatigue, and lifestyle habits.

Wonderfully progressive, concise and convincing guidelines for doctors on the treatment of low back pain.

Marcie Macvicar
Marcie Macvicar

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

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