THE BASICS OF BACK AND BODY PAIN
What’s going on back there?
Your search for relief from back and body-related pain is a common one. Truth is that as much as 80% of us 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, if the pain is minor, 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 acute back pain should resolve within a few days to a few weeks. If your pain is severe, gets worse or 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 body 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 pain are more common than upper and middle back 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 bodies themselves. Frequent overall back and body pain indicators include:
- Aching muscles
- Sharp or stabbing pain
- Dull pain
- Pain that radiates down your legs
- Muscle tightness or stiffness
The two causes of back and body pain
Acute pain is the most common type of back and body pain, which can develop quickly and last six weeks or less. This is generally the result of mechanical issues or soft-tissue damage like muscle strain. Some of the most common causes for acute back and body 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
The less common type is chronic back pain and generally lasts more than three months. If your pain is severe, worsens or 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® Back & Body Pain can likely have you comfortably back on your feet within a few days. Some of the more frequently recommended home remedies include: