Back pain is one of the most common medical problems, affecting 8 out of 10 people at some point during their lives. Back pain can range from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp pain. Acute back pain comes suddenly and usually lasts from a few days to a few weeks. Back pain is called chronic if it lasts for more than three months. Chronic pain is commonly described as a deep, aching, dull or burning pain and often accompanied by numbness, tingling, and/or weakness.
Although anyone can have back pain, a number of factors increase your risk.
- Poor physical fitness/lack of exercise
- Being overweight
- Improper body mechanics
- Improper lifting and bending
- Sports and other injury or fall
- Occupational risk factors
- Some diseases, like some types of arthritis and cancer can cause back pain
- Poor posture
Back pain that is the result of strains and sprains will usually resolve with a conservative course of treatment within two to six weeks (provided there are no serious underlying medical conditions)
- Hot or cold packs
- Therapeutic exercises to improve muscle strength and flexibility
- Education about proper posture/lifting
- Joint and soft tissue mobilisation and modification
- Dry needling