Back pain is pain felt in the upper or lower back, and, for adults, it's a common complaint. It affects 8 out of 10 people at some point in their lives.
Back pain can be acute or chronic. Acute back pain comes on suddenly and will last from a few days to a few weeks, while chronic back pain lasts for 3 months or longer.
Symptoms of back pain may include:
- Muscle aches
- Shooting or stabbing pain
- Pain that radiates down your leg
- Limited flexibility or range of motion of the back
- Inability to stand up straight
The most common back pain is experienced in the lower back and often goes away within 4-6 weeks. However, you should see your doctor if you have severe back pain that doesn't go away in 3 days. You should also see a doctor if your back pain is the result of an injury or if you experience any of the following:
- Numbness or tingling in your back
- Weakness, pain, or numbness in your legs
- Trouble urinating
- Unintentional weight loss
It is important to understand that back pain is not a diagnosis, but a symptom of a medical condition. Some conditions that are commonly linked to back pain include:
- Muscle or ligament strain
- Bulging or ruptured discs
- Degeneration of the discs
- Spinal stenosis
- Skeletal irregularities
If you have been living with chronic back pain, there are healthy choices you can make on a daily basis to help manage your condition
For more information about back pain and other health conditions, members may log in to Blue Access for Members.