Back pain is a frustrating reality for millions for Americans. Experts estimate that 80% of patients will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives. 264 million workdays are lost every year due to back pain; this is more than for any other reason. With such a high prevalence in cases of back pain, patients are often unsure of when, and if, medical care is necessary. Many are also unaware of what is causing the pain. 

Risk Factors

There are several populations that are more likely to experience back pain. This can be due to environmental factors, biological factors, and other complexities. 

  • Sex- Women are more likely to experience back pain episodes, and more likely to suffer from chronic pain. This may be due to the fact that women are more likely to have a predisposition for degenerative disc disorder and osteoporosis.
  • Occupation- Industrial workers who perform jobs that require heavy lifting, standing, squatting, and repetitive motions are highly likely to suffer from cumulative injuries that cause back pain.
  • Genetics- Those with a family history of chronic pain or bone disease are likely to inherit the same issue.
  • Injury- Most acute cases of back pain result from an injury to the back.

Sometimes a specific cause can be hard to distinguish, as back pain can be brought on by a combination of risk factors and other complexities.

Causes of Back Pain

The causes of back pain can vary based on the type of pain that the patient is experiencing and other factors. 

Acute Cases of Back Pain

The most common type of back pain is an acute case. In acute cases, the patient has usually undergone an injury, or stress to the muscles in the back. These cases can be treated at home with ice, heat, and rest. Typically, within a month the pain will subside.

Chronic Back Pain

Chronic back pain is defined as pain that continues for 12 weeks or longer even after treatment. There are usually several factors that can lead to chronic back pain. Genetics, degenerative disc diseases, nerve pain, and laborious work can make it difficult for those with chronic back pain to find relief.

Sudden Onset, Unidentified Back Pain

If a patient experiences sudden pain in the back, without an injury or cause, it is wise to see a doctor immediately. There are numerous internal issues that could be blame for this sudden pain. Watch your changes in your urinary tract and bowels.

When to Seek Medical Attention

There are several instances when back pain should be immediately evaluated by a medical professional. 

  • If the pain in your back was brought on suddenly, without injury
  • If the back pain is accompanied by urinary or bowel changes
  • If the pain is severe or concerning
  • If the pain is accompanied by fever

Stop at a local walk-in clinic today for diagnosis, treatment, and resources to help you get the relief you need from back pain.