back pain

Back pain-a leading cause for absence from work

Back pain: Classification, Symptoms, Causes, Risk Factors

Back pain is a distressing feeling. It is a leading cause of absence from work. The pain is debilitating, like physical discomfort anywhere in the back, which can either be mild or debilitating.

Back pain can occur due to various reasons. However, there are many household methods along with doctor’s intervention to reduce back pain.

Classification of back pain 

• Acute Pain is when back pain lasts less than six weeks.
• Back pain, which is persistent between 6-12 weeks, is termed as subacute back pain.
• Back pain, which lasts more than 12 weeks, is chronic back pain.


• Sore muscles
• Pain worse by bending or lifting things
• Pain better by lying down on the back
• Pain and stiffness any place along the spine
• Pain is sharp and localized
• Muscle spasm
• Pain usually radiating down the small of the back, thighs also down the calf muscles.


There are several causes of back pain; they are:
 Non-specific back pain: These types of back pain are usually acute. There is no pathological cause for this kind of back pain. Around 90% of back pain is non-specific back pain.

Structural causes of back pain :
 Spinal disk disease like disc prolapse, Cauda equina syndrome
 Degenerative spine disease like ankylosing spondylitis
 Spondylolisthesis
 Spinal stenosis
 Vertebral compression fracture

Systemic causes:
 Infections like osteomyelitis, epidural abscess
 Cancer: pain, along with fever, vomiting, weight loss, and chills. In cancerous condition, the back pain is dull and persistent and worse with rest.
 Autoimmune diseases like ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, which causes joints destruction.
• Referred pain: Back pain can be due to referred pain, as seen in kidney stones, pancreatitis, urinary tract infection, sometimes due to a heart attack also.

Risk factors

The following people are at higher risk of developing back pain:
• People who lift heavyweight
• Obesity
• Sedentary lifestyle (Know about how does physical inactivity affects humans?)

• Lack of exercise
• Poor posture
• Pregnant women
• Stressful work environment
• A family history of autoimmune diseases

Lifestyle changes to relieve back pain

• Gentle stretching exercises should be done daily
• Heat fermentation to relax muscles, especially in acute low back pain.
• Massage
• Acupuncture
• Spinal manipulation
• Eating healthy calcium and vitamin D rich food.
• Correcting posture
• Managing weight
• Avoid heavy and high heels shoes
• Avoid smoking
• Avoid lifting heavy things and twisting at the same time
• Correct sleeping posture should be maintained

When to see a doctor

Back pain is a distressing situation that is very uncomfortable. One should see a doctor when along with the back pain, they also suffer from the following symptoms :
• Numbness and tingling sensation
• Back pain after any fall or injury
• Weakness
• Numbness in legs and feet
• Fever
• Weight loss without any reason
• Dull constant pain, which is worse on lying down.


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