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Back pain

Back pain

Back pain

Back pain

Overview:

 

Back pain is one of the most common reasons people seek medical help or miss work. Back pain is a leading cause of disability worldwide.

Fortunately, measures can help prevent or relieve most back pain episodes, especially for people younger than age 60. If prevention fails, simple home treatment and using the body correctly often will heal the back within a few weeks. Surgery is rarely needed to treat back pain.

 

 

Back pain

 

Symptoms:

Back pain can range from a muscle aching to a shooting, burning or stabbing sensation. Also, the pain can radiate down a leg. Bending, twisting, lifting, standing or walking can make it worse.

 

Treatments for back pain:

 

If your back pain is severe or not getting better, a GP may prescribe painkillers or medicines to relax the muscles in your back.

Other treatments may be recommended if your pain does not get better after a few weeks.

These include:

  • group exercise sessions and physiotherapy
  • manual therapy – where a trained therapist massages and moves the muscles, bones and joints in your back
  • cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to help you cope with the pain
  • a procedure to seal off some of the nerves in your back so they stop sending pain signals (only for long-term lower back pain).

If your back pain is caused by a medical condition like a slipped disc and other treatments have not helped, surgery may be an option.

When to see a doctor:

 

Most back pain gradually improves with home treatment and self-care, usually within a few weeks. Contact your health care provider for back pain that:

  • Lasts longer than a few weeks.
  • Is severe and doesn’t improve with rest.
  • Spreads down one or both legs, especially if the pain goes below the knee.
  • Causes weakness, numbness, or tingling in one or both legs.
  • Is paired with unexplained weight loss.

 

In rare cases, back pain can signal a serious medical problem. Seek immediate care for back pain that:

  • Causes new bowel or bladder problems.
  • Is accompanied by a fever.
  • Follows a fall, blow to the back or other injury.

 

 

References:

 

 

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