Acute or short term back pain lasts for few days to few weeks. It usually feels like an ache, strain or rigidity in the back. Chronic back pain persists for more than 3 weeks.
The pain is generally triggered by improper posture while sitting or standing, bending awkwardly, or lifting incorrectly. Back pain is not generally caused by a serious condition and, in most cases, it gets better within 1-2 weeks. It can be treated by taking painkillers.
Upper or middle back pain
Upper or middle back pain can occur anywhere from the base of neck to the bottom of rib cage. Upper and middle back pain is less common than lower back pain as bones in this area of back are not as flexible as those in lower back and neck.Upper or middle back pain often causes a dull, burning, or sharp pain. Symptoms like:
Lower back pain
The pain will often only affect the lower back. The pain can:
The other forms of back pain:
Risks factors include:
Most cases of back pain do not require medical attention and can be treated with painkillers and self-care. The physical examination will usually assess your capacity to sit, stand, walk and lift your legs, as well as testing the range of movement in your back.
Pain relievers: Paracetamol and NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen etc are effective pain killers during back pain.
Hot and cold treatment: Hot bath or a hot water bottle placed on the affected area helps ease the pain. Cold treatment such as an ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables, placed on the painful area is also effective.
Relaxing: Trying to relax is a crucial part of easing the pain because muscle tension caused by worrying about your condition can make things worse.
Exercise: A normal regime should involve up to eight sessions over a period of up to 12 weeks. It should be in group supervised by a qualified instructor. The classes may include exercises to strengthen muscles and improve posture.
Back pain is generally prevented by regular exercise.