Find out why Mayo Clinic is the right place for your health care. Make an appointment..
Find a directory of doctors and departments at all Mayo Clinic campuses. Visit now..
See how Mayo Clinic research and clinical trials advance the science of medicine and improve patient care. Explore now..
Educators at Mayo Clinic train tomorrow’s leaders to deliver compassionate, high-value, safe patient care. Choose a degree..
Explore Mayo Clinic’s many resources and see jobs available for medical professionals. Get updates..
Your support accelerates powerful innovations in patient care, research and education. Give today..
Back pain is one of the most common reasons people go to the doctor or miss work, and it is a leading cause of disability worldwide. Most people have back pain at least once.
Fortunately, you can take measures to prevent or relieve most back pain episodes. If prevention fails, simple home treatment and proper body mechanics often will heal your back within a few weeks and keep it functional. Surgery is rarely needed to treat back pain.
Signs and symptoms of back pain can include:
Most back pain gradually improves with home treatment and self-care, usually within a few weeks. If yours doesn’t improve in that time, see your doctor.
In rare cases, back pain can signal a serious medical problem. Seek immediate care if your back pain:
Contact a doctor if your back pain:
Also, see your doctor if you start having back pain for the first time after age 50, or if you have a history of cancer, osteoporosis, steroid use, or excessive drug or alcohol use.
Back pain that comes on suddenly and lasts no more than six weeks (acute) can be caused by a fall or heavy lifting. Back pain that lasts more than three months (chronic) is less common than acute pain.
Back pain often develops without a cause that your doctor can identify with a test or an imaging study. Conditions commonly linked to back pain include:
Anyone can develop back pain, even children and teens. These factors might put you at greater risk of developing back pain:
You might avoid back pain or prevent its recurrence by improving your physical condition and learning and practicing proper body mechanics.
To keep your back healthy and strong:
Avoid movements that twist or strain your back. Use your body properly:
Because back pain is so common, numerous products promise prevention or relief. But there’s no definitive evidence that special shoes, shoe inserts, back supports, specially designed furniture or stress management programs can help.
In addition, there doesn’t appear to be one type of mattress that’s best for people with back pain. It’s probably a matter of what feels most comfortable to you.
Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission.
Check out these best-sellers and special offers on books and newsletters from Mayo Clinic.
A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. “Mayo,” “Mayo Clinic,” “MayoClinic.org,” “Mayo Clinic Healthy Living,” and the triple-shield Mayo Clinic logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.
Research & References of Back pain|A&C Accounting And Tax Services