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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is back pain?
Back pain is not a medical diagnosis, but a symptom of an underlying condition. There are several components of the back including bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves and blood vessels. Back pain may be associated with damage, injury or inflammation to any of …
What are the symptoms of back pain?
The intensity, location and duration of symptoms associated with back pain may vary, but may include: localized ache; sharp ('shooting' or 'stabbing') pain; limited flexibility; limited range of motion; inability to stand up straight; stiffness, and; …
What causes back pain?
Younger adults are more likely to experience back pain due to disc problems i.e., lumbar disc herniation, degenerative disc disease or lumbar muscle strain/lumbar sprain. Older adults are more likely to suffer from pain related to joint degeneration, i.e., …
Who gets back pain?
Depending on the underlying cause, back pain may be experienced by anybody. You are at greater risk of experiencing back pain due if you: smoke; are obese; are of older age; are female; do manual labor; do sedentary work, and; are stressed.
How is back pain diagnosed?
A thorough medical history and physical examination will help your doctor diagnose the cause of your back pain.
How is back pain treated?
Treatment of back pain will vary depending on what is causing the pain, how frequently it occurs and how severe it is. An acute case of back pain may first be treated with rest, relative rest ('easing up'), or modified activities for a few days. Medications may be …
What can be done at home to treat back pain?
Depending on the severity and cause of back pain, treatment may include taking over-the counter pain relief, following a prescribed exercise program, heat and ice therapy and maintaining good posture.
Can back pain be prevented?
Some of the underlying medical conditions that cause some cases of back pain cannot be prevented. However, most cases can be avoided, or the severity of symptoms reduced, by making some lifestyle changes that may include: maintaining good posture; lifting …
About this article
Author: Dr Nikki Wallis PhD, BSc
First answered: 20 Oct 2014
Last reviewed: 14 May 2019
Rating: 4.8 out of 5
Votes: 473 (Click smiley face below left to rate)
Category: Back pain