According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, chronic back pain is the most frequent cause of activity limitation in Americans under 45 years old, with back pain affecting 70 to 85 percent of us at some point in our lives. Back pain can be acute, or of a short duration, usually caused by inflammation, tissue damage, injury, illness, or recent surgery. This type of pain usually lasts only a week or two, ending after the underlying cause is treated. Chronic back pain can last for weeks, months, and even years, and is considered a major medical condition that should be handled by a back specialist.
Chronic back pain can be caused by an ongoing illness like cancer or arthritis, but many people suffer from it without ever having another major condition or disorder. Treatment methods for chronic back pain can include medication management, heat and cold treatments, physical therapy, occupational therapy, exercise, local electrical stimulation, and, if necessary, surgical intervention. Talk to your doctor about the best way to approach your back pain, especially if you can’t get rid of it.