THE BASICS OF BACK AND MUSCLE PAIN
What’s going on back there?
Back and muscle pain is a common occurrence for individuals of all ages. Truth be told, as much as 80% of individuals will experience back pain during our lifetime. It’s one of the most common reasons for doctor visits and work absences, and is one of the leading causes of disability around the world.
Thankfully, for less severe muscle pain, there are steps you can take on your own to remedy the discomfort and even help prevent future episodes from interrupting your life. With simple home treatment and proper body mechanics, your back pain should be resolved within a few days or few weeks, depending on the severity. If your pain is severe, worsens with treatment, lasts longer than 10 days, or if you have any questions about your condition, please consult your doctor right away.
As many as 80% of us will experience back pain, but most of the time you can put it behind you.
WHAT’S BEHIND IT?
Common symptoms of back and muscle pain
Aches and pain anywhere on the back, neck, shoulders and even down in the buttocks and legs is a not-so-subtle sign of back pain. Neck and lower back muscle pain are more common than upper and middle back muscle pain due to the fact that the bones do not flex as much in this region, but pain can still be an issue with the muscles themselves. Frequent overall back and muscle pain indicators include:
- Aching muscles
- Sharp or stabbing pain
- Dull pain
- Pain that resonates down to your legs
- Muscle tightness or stiffness
The 2 causes of back and muscle pain
Acute pain is the most common type of back and muscle pain, which can develop quickly and last for a duration of six weeks or less. This is generally the result of mechanical issues or soft-tissue damage like muscle strains. Some of the most common causes for acute back and muscle pain include:
- Poor posture (i.e. hunched over a smartphone, tablet or PC)
- Prolonged sitting (places more pressure on the spine than standing or walking)
- Lifting improperly
- Heavy backpacks
- Muscle sprain or strain
- Injury / trauma
Chronic back pain is uncommon, but can generally last for a duration of more than three months. If your pain is severe, worsens with treatment, lasts longer than 10 days, or if you have any questions about your condition, please consult your doctor right away.
WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT
Finding relief at home
The majority of minor lower back pain occurrences can subside with careful attention and at-home remedies. A bit of rest, applying a heat compress or ice pack, and over-the-counter medications like Aleve will most likely have you comfortably back on your feet within a few days. Some of the frequently recommended home remedies include: