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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.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.


Nonspecific term used to describe back pain; generally refers to pain below the cervical level.
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


An ache or pain in the back, especially the lower back.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


Nonspecific term used to describe back pain; generally refers to pain below the cervical level.
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012


Pain or discomfort in the area of the spine.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005

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
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References in periodicals archive ?
Dr Charlotte Howell, a consultant anaesthetist who led the study, said: 'I never believed that epidurals caused backache and I certainly don't believe it now.' She said the Birmingham study was concerned that if women were numb during labour, they could pull their ligaments.
Previously, the accountability court had allowed Sharif to take a seat when he complained of his backache.
According to sources, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president will not be able to go to the Parliament for a PAC meeting as he was strongly advised by his doctors to rest after his backache worsened.
[1] However, patients generally attribute chronic backache to previous spinal anaesthesia for caesarean surgery.
Summary: New Delhi [India], Aug 7 (ANI): Star Indian weightlifter Mirabai Chanu will not participate in the upcoming 18th edition of Asian Games in Indonesia next week, owing to a backache.
As a~three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, resumed hearing in the case, the chief~executive officer (CEO) of Geo informed the court that Rehman could not appear as he was summoned on short notice and is nursing a backache in Dubai.
Without naming former president Pervez Musharraf, Marriyum Aurangzeb said that the person, who violated the constitution, was allowed to go abroad in the name of getting medical treatment of his backache.
JANE TYLER A FACTORY worker died when he accidentally took a massive overdose of a prescription-only painkiller for his chronic backache.
Objective: To determine association between bone mineral density (BMD) and low backache in post menopausal women in general population of Lahore.
The Arab national came to the hospital complaining from backache and leg pain due to degenerative scoliosis.
So when the head is lifted to look straight ahead, the forward curve of the neck is exaggerated, resulting in neck ache, backache and sore shoulders.
Relationships aside, 84% of the 2,000 women quizzed said PMS has affected their day-to-day life, with the most common symptoms including cramps, bloating, fatigue, irritability and emotional outbursts, mood swings and backache.