Acute or short term back pain lasts for few days to few weeks. It usually feels like an ache, strain or rigidity in the back. Chronic back pain persists for more than 3 weeks.
The pain is generally triggered by improper posture while sitting or standing, bending awkwardly, or lifting incorrectly. Back pain is not generally caused by a serious condition and, in most cases, it gets better within 1-2 weeks. It can be treated by taking painkillers.
Upper or middle back pain
Upper or middle back pain can occur anywhere from the base of neck to the bottom of rib cage. Upper and middle back pain is less common than lower back pain as bones in this area of back are not as flexible as those in lower back and neck.Upper or middle back pain often causes a dull, burning, or sharp pain. Symptoms like:
· Weakness in arms or legs
· A numb or tingling sensation in arms, legs, chest, or abdomen (stomach area)
Lower back pain
The pain will often only affect the lower back. The pain can:
· Increase suddenly after lifting something heavy or twisting back awkwardly
· It can develop gradually as a result of poor posture.
· Occasionally, it may occur for no apparent reason.
· The pain may be worse at night, during activity, or after sitting in the same position for a long time, such as after a long car journey. Sometimes, lying down flat may help ease the pain.
The other forms of back pain:
· Painful stiffness of the shoulder, which makes it difficult to dress, drive or sleep, may be a sign of frozen shoulder.
· Pain in the joints (including the back) during walking and stiffness in the morning are symptoms of arthritis.
· Lower back pain, buttock pain, neck pain and stiffness and pain in the sacroiliac joint (the joint that connects the pelvis to the spine) are all possible symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis.
· Neck pain and stiffness, headaches and lower back pain following an accident are common symptoms of whiplash.
· Pain in lower back that moves down the buttocks into one or both of legs may be a symptom of sciatica.
· Soreness in lower back, muscle weakness and tight muscles may be caused by a slipped disc. If someone have a slipped disc, the pain usually radiates down the leg.