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any pain in the back, usually in the lumbar or cervical region; it is often dull and continuous, but sometimes sharp and throbbing. This is the most common cause of disability and time lost from work for people 18 to 65 years old. Between 50 and 80 per cent of individuals will be disabled by back pain, even if only for a short period, at some time during their lives. About 60 per cent of all backache is related to non-sciatic muscle strain and ligament sprain. Approximately 30 per cent of backache can be attributed to the back component of sciatica, although leg pain is usually a more prominent feature. Roughly 10 per cent of backache can be attributed to other causes, such as urinary tract infection, kidney stones, multiple myeloma, metastatic carcinoma, osteoporosis, osteomalacia, abdominal aortic aneurysm, spondylosis, and spondylolisthesis.

A sudden action, using muscles that are already fatigued or out of condition, is particularly likely to cause acute strain. In such cases rest and time usually bring recovery. A very sharp, persistent pain following the use of unusual force against something (for example, trying to open a jammed window) could indicate a herniated intervertebral disk or sacroiliac strain. Night pain or pain that wakes the patient from sleep often points to a diagnosis of infection or tumor.
Treatment. The initial treatment for backache usually is nonoperative. nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs and postural rest are the hallmarks of conservative therapy and are based on the principles of reducing inflammation about the spinal nerve or related structures such as the disk or posterior facet joints, and decreasing at least temporarily the tremendous loads borne by the spine. Epidural steroids are helpful in some cases. Surgical treatment is usually a last resort and involves excision of a herniated disk, laminectomy to allow the surgeon to visualize the area, with fusion to stabilize the spine or some other type of orthopedic surgery, depending on the cause of back pain. Minimally invasive surgical procedures may also be performed.

Chronic backache that does not respond to other modes of treatment sometimes can be relieved by transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation and other modalities such as back school, antidepressants, muscle-strengthening exercises, and weight-reduction programs.


Nonspecific term used to describe back pain; generally refers to pain below the cervical level.


An ache or pain in the back, especially the lower back.


Etymology: AS, baec + ME, aken
a pain in the lumbar, lumbosacral, or cervical region of the back, varying in sharpness and intensity. Causes may include muscle strain or other muscular disorders or pressure on the root of a nerve, such as the sciatic nerve, caused in turn by a variety of factors, including a herniated vertebral disk. Treatment may include heat, ultrasound, and devices to provide support for the affected area while the individual is in bed or standing or sitting, bed rest, surgical intervention, and medications to relieve pain and relax spasm of the muscle of the affected area.


Nonspecific term used to describe back pain; generally refers to pain below the cervical level.


Pain or discomfort in the area of the spine.

Patient discussion about backache

Q. My son is complaining about back pain. I also see that his back isn't straight. What can we do? My son is a adorable 8 years old. He is complaining about back pain, that bothers him after he walks a little. I also saw that his back isn't straight and looks like a S. is this deformity connected to his back pain?

A. The normal shape of the spine is very similar to the "S" shape as you can see here
But even if his back isn't deformated, he has back pain and you need to take care of that by going to your pediatrician.

Q. I want to know the treatments for back pain

A. well, tester1234, you are asking a very general question. back pain is a symptom. and the best way to get rid of a symptom is by eliminating the cause. back pain have many causes- not sitting right, posture problems, Spinal disc herniation, muscles not strong and long enough, kidney problems sometime feels like lower back problems. i had a problem with posture. so i went to Rolfing therapist- really helped.

Q. I have a lower back pain for more than 3 months what should I do? I am a 55 years old man, and i work as a truck-driver. In the last 3 months i have a back ache that is disturbing my life. Its really annoying me. When I wake up I am usually fine, but after 10 minutes of driving the pain starts and it doesn't stop till I go back to bed. What can I do? my GP told me to take Tylenol, but it's just not helping.

A. A constant low back pain can be a result of a lot of things. A friend of mine (63 years old) had a back pain and she didn't pay enough attention to it assuming its just nothing. In the end it was due to metastatic lung cancer.
here you can see the major "Red Flags" that encourage you take an extra appointment with your GP

More discussions about backache
References in periodicals archive ?
In her study, Hamiri has shown that the percentage of post-spinal anesthesia backache incidence is 46.
Of those nearly one in five - 18 per cent - endures backache every day, reports The Daily Express.
He challenges the notion that backache is an injury and feels that convergence of Mixter's concept of discal rupture and the worker's compensation insurance scheme has transformed backache at work into a surrogate complaint.
While backache was the most common complaint, headaches, neck aches and bouts of sickness were also reported.
More than half of all motorists suffering backache behind the wheel approach a professional to check over their car.
More than half of motorists suffering backache approached a professional to check over their car and one-in-three found the cause was a worn suspension system.
I also get awful backache and even lying down in bed is difficult.
Jamie Dunsmore, 21, was first told he had backache and then diagnosed with constipation.
Subsequently, such care helps not only alleviate backache but also balance the autonomic nervous system and regulate the gastrointestinal functions.
At the gold fields of Ballarat, he described mining as "arduous at first" and causing "much backache and blistering of hands" (1).