Highlights Overview: Back pain can be acute, subacute, or chronic, and more commonly occurs in the lower area of the back.
Acute back pain develops suddenly and lasts up to several weeks. Acute pain is the most common type of back pain. Subacute back pain is pain that lasts up to three months. Chronic back pain can begin abruptly or gradually, linger, subside and then come back, but it lasts longer than 3 months. With proper self-care, most acute cases resolve within 4 - 6 weeks. Two-thirds of those patients, however, will experience another episode of back pain within 12 months. Diagnosis: A medical history and a brief physical examination is always necessary for both acute and chronic back pain. The main goal of a physical exam is to try and determine the source of the pain and to detect warning symptoms. Imaging techniques such as x-rays or scans are rarely recommended in the first month unless the health care provider suspects a serious problem such as a tumor, fracture, infection, caud...
Nonspecific back pain refers to pain in the back due to an unknown cause.
Back pain - nonspecific
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Back pain is one of the most common complaints treated by physicians. Nearly four out of five people will have back pain at some time in their life. Most of the time, the exact cause of the pain can not be found.
can develop in association with a number of causes, including muscle strain
, injury to the back, overuse, muscle disorders, pressure on a nerve root, poor posture, and many others. Pregnant women, smokers, construction workers, and people who do repetitive lifting all have increased risk of back pain. (See also low back pain
Resources www.niams.nih.gov -- National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases www.aaos.org -- American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons www.arthritis.org -- Arthritis Foundation www.spine.org -- North American Spine Society www.apta.org -- American Physical Therapy Association www.ampainsoc.org -- American Pain Society www.theacpa.org -- American Chronic Pain Association www.iasp-pain.org -- International Association for the Study of Pain
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