Causes and treatments of back pain

Causes and treatments of back pain

Back pain is something that almost everyone has experienced at one point or another in their adult life. While some people can experience mild back pain resulting from a minor injury, others can have debilitating symptoms that inhibit their ability to work and enjoy physical activities.


Back pain can be linked to issues in the spinal column or linked to lower back muscles as well as internal organs around the pelvic and adnominal regions. Because back pain is such a broad category that can result from a variety of different causes, people often misdiagnose the cause. This is why it’s essential for those suffering from frequent or chronic back pain needs to seek a professional medical opinion.

Physical strain is one of the most common causes of back pain, which can take various forms ranging from spasmed muscles to injuries like fractures. Back pain is commonly experienced when people fail to utilise proper lifting techniques with heavy objects, or simply try to lift an object that is too heavy for them. Even without lifting anything, an abrupt or awkward movement (or sleeping/resting in an awkward position) can also cause back pain.

Back pain can also be caused by structural issues involving bulging or ruptured discs, an abnormal spine curvature, and problems like kidney stones/infections. It can also be caused by sciatica, osteoporosis and arthritis. Structural causes for back pain are more commonly experienced in old age.

Another common cause of back pain is poor posture. This is infamously common in office workers who lean towards their work on a computer screen rather than using the back support of their chairs. However, poor posture is something that many people do not know they have until they experience symptoms of back pain due to it.

Diagnosis and treatment

Diagnosis and treatment of back pain is naturally an extensive field since the issue is experienced by so many for a diverse set of reasons. When back pain is caused by a minor injury or awkward movement/poor posture, people can usually recover with normal rest and by making lifestyle changes (buying a more ergonomic chair for their office, for example).

Back pain that starts suddenly and lasts for up to 6 weeks is classified as ‘acute’. Back pain that lasts for over 3 months is classified as ‘chronic’.

Chronic back pain needs to be addressed by professional medical attention, and diagnostic imaging tools like x-rays or MRI/CT scans could be necessary. Treatments for chronic back pain can range from physical therapy to cortisone/Botox injections. Sometimes back pain can even be helped with psychiatric treatments like CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) depending on the cause, as chronic pain can sometimes be psychological in origin.

There are also several alternative therapies such as chiropractic and acupuncture that can complement medical treatment for some sufferers of back pain. Those who pursue alternative therapies must ensure they engage registered and fully qualified therapists.

If you are experiencing acute or chronic back pain, you can request a telehealth consultation with Instant Consult and speak to a registered GP from the comfort of home.

by Instant Consult