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Back pain or Backache

Back pain or backache can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Poor posture: Sitting or standing for long periods with poor posture can put strain on your back muscles and lead to pain.

  • Muscle or ligament strain: Lifting heavy objects, sudden movements or overuse of the muscles and ligaments in your back can lead to back pain.

  • Herniated or bulging discs: Discs are cushions between the vertebrae in your spine, and when they become damaged, they can bulge or herniate, putting pressure on nerves and causing pain.

  • Arthritis: Arthritis can cause inflammation in the joints of the spine and lead to back pain.

  • Osteoporosis: Osteoporosis can cause bones in the spine to become weak and brittle, which can lead to fractures and pain.

  • Skeletal irregularities: Curvature of the spine, such as scoliosis, can cause back pain.

  • Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions such as kidney stones, infections or tumors can cause back pain.

  • Obesity: Excess weight can put strain on the back and lead to pain.

  • Psychological factors: Emotional stress, depression or anxiety can also cause back pain.

It is important to consult a healthcare professional to determine the specific cause of your back pain and receive appropriate treatment.

Diagnosing the cause of back pain typically involves a combination of medical history, physical examination, and diagnostic tests. Here are some steps that a healthcare professional may take to diagnose the cause of back pain:

  • Medical history: The healthcare professional will ask you questions about the onset, duration, and severity of your back pain, as well as any other symptoms you may be experiencing.

  • Physical examination: The healthcare professional will perform a physical exam to assess your range of motion, strength, and reflexes. They may also look for signs of inflammation, such as redness or swelling.

  • Diagnostic tests: Depending on the suspected cause of the back pain, the healthcare professional may order imaging tests such as X-rays, CT scans, or MRI scans. They may also order blood tests or nerve studies.

  • Other factors: The healthcare professional may consider other factors such as your age, occupation, lifestyle habits, and medical history to help diagnose the cause of your back pain.

Based on the results of these tests, the healthcare professional can then determine the cause of your back pain and develop a treatment plan. It is important to seek medical attention if your back pain is severe, lasts for an extended period of time, or is accompanied by other symptoms such as numbness, tingling, or weakness.

Back pain can vary in severity and duration, and in most cases, it is not a serious health concern. However, in some cases, back pain can be a sign of a more serious underlying condition that requires immediate medical attention. Here are some signs that you should consult a healthcare professional urgently:

  • Severe pain: If your back pain is severe and debilitating, or if it is accompanied by other symptoms such as numbness, tingling, or weakness, seek medical attention immediately.

  • Trauma: If you have recently experienced a fall, car accident, or other traumatic injury and are experiencing back pain, seek medical attention immediately.

  • Bowel or bladder dysfunction: If you are experiencing loss of bladder or bowel control along with back pain, seek medical attention immediately.

  • Fever: If you have a fever along with back pain, it could be a sign of an infection and you should seek medical attention.

  • History of cancer: If you have a history of cancer and are experiencing new back pain, seek medical attention immediately.

It is always better to err on the side of caution and consult a healthcare professional if you are unsure about the cause or severity of your back pain.

The treatment options for back pain depend on the cause, severity, and duration of the pain. Here are some possible treatment options:

  • Self-care: Rest, ice or heat therapy, and over-the-counter pain relievers can often help relieve mild to moderate back pain.

  • Physical therapy: A physical therapist can provide exercises and stretches to improve mobility, strength, and flexibility in the back muscles and reduce pain.

  • Medications: Prescription medications such as muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatory drugs, and opioids may be used to treat more severe pain.

  • Injections: Steroid injections can be used to reduce inflammation and pain in the back.

  • Surgery: In rare cases, surgery may be necessary to treat certain types of back pain, such as herniated discs or spinal stenosis.

  • Alternative therapies: Some people find relief from back pain through alternative therapies such as chiropractic care, acupuncture, massage therapy, or yoga.

It is important to consult a healthcare professional to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for your specific case of back pain. In addition to treatment, maintaining good posture, exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy weight can also help prevent or manage back pain.

Here are some things you can do at home to help relieve back pain:

  • Stretching: Gentle stretching exercises can help relieve tension in the back muscles and improve flexibility. Some examples include hamstring stretches, knee-to-chest stretches, and cat-cow stretches.

  • Heat or cold therapy: Applying a heat or cold pack to the affected area can help reduce pain and inflammation. Heat therapy is typically used for chronic pain, while cold therapy is recommended for acute pain or injuries.

  • Over-the-counter pain relievers: Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help relieve mild to moderate back pain.

  • Good posture: Maintaining good posture throughout the day can help reduce strain on the back muscles. Make sure to sit or stand up straight with your shoulders back and your feet flat on the ground.

  • Rest: Resting for short periods of time can help relieve pain, but avoid prolonged bed rest, as this can actually make back pain worse.

  • Exercise: Gentle exercise such as walking or swimming can help improve flexibility, strength, and endurance in the back muscles and reduce pain over time.

It is important to consult a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise or treatment program, especially if you have severe or chronic back pain.

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