How Long Can Back Pain Last: Complete Guide

Back pain has been a common issue for humans since the dawn of time. Many people of all ages experience back pain at some point in their lives. The causes of back pain are numerous, but most often it is due to a strain on the muscles or ligaments in the back. In this article, we will discuss the causes of back pain, as well as how long it can last. We will also provide some tips on how to relieve back pain. Without further ado, let’s get started.

What Causes Back Pain?


There are many possible causes of back pain, but most often it is the result of a muscle strain, ligament sprain, or disc problem. Muscle strains can occur from lifting something heavy or from overexertion. This type of injury is common in athletes who participate in sports that require repetitive motions, such as running, golf, or tennis.

Next, ligament sprains can occur when the ligaments that connect the bones in the spine are stretched beyond their normal range of motion. This can happen from a fall or from lifting something heavy. Also, if the spine is not in alignment, the ligaments may be overstretched and lead to pain.

Finally, disc problems can cause back pain. The discs are the cushions between the vertebrae in the spine. They act as shock absorbers and allow the spine to move. Discs can herniate, or rupture, and bulge out into the spinal canal. This can compress the nerves and cause pain.

How Long Can Back Pain Last?


The length of time that back pain lasts can vary greatly. It might last for only a short time, such as a few days or weeks. However, it could also last much longer, such as several months or even years in rare cases. Back pain is generally classified as either acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term).

Acute Back Pain

Acute back pain is a type of pain that comes on suddenly and typically lasts for a few days or weeks. It is usually the result of an injury, such as a muscle strain, ligament sprain, or herniated disc. However, it can also be the result of other conditions, such as arthritis, osteoporosis, kidney stones, or scoliosis. There are instances where the pain might last longer than a few weeks, but this is generally considered to be chronic back pain.

Chronic Back Pain

Chronic back pain is defined as pain that lasts for three months or longer.  can be the result of an injury, such as a herniated disc, or it can be the result of a degenerative condition, such as arthritis. It can also be the result of other conditions, such as scoliosis or osteoporosis. Chronic back pain is often difficult to treat and can greatly impact a person’s quality of life.

There are a few things that can affect how long back pain lasts:

  • The severity of the injury or condition. There are some injuries, such as herniated discs, that are more severe than others, such as muscle strains. These more severe injuries can take longer to heal and might require surgery.
  • The type of treatment that is received. For example, someone who undergoes surgery to correct a herniated disc is likely to have a shorter duration of pain than someone who does not receive any treatment.
  • Age. Older adults are more likely to have chronic back pain than younger adults. It is because their bodies are not as resilient and they often have degenerative conditions that can lead to pain.
  • Pregnancy. Back pain is common during pregnancy, especially in the third trimester. This is due to the extra weight that is being carried and the changes in the body that occur during pregnancy.
  • Weight. Those who are overweight or obese are more likely to experience back pain than those who are at a healthy weight. This is due to the added stress on the spine from the extra weight.

How To Relieve Back Pain?


There are many treatments that can help relieve back pain. Some people may need medication, physical therapy, or surgery. Some ways to relieve back pain include:

  • Taking over-the-counter pain relievers. OTC pain relievers include ibuprofen (Advil) and naproxen (Aleve) help to relieve pain and inflammation.
  • Using a heating pad or ice pack. A heating pad can help relieve muscle tension and pain. Ice can help reduce swelling. It must be done for 20 minutes at a time, with a layer of cloth between the ice and your skin.
  • Stretching and doing exercises. Physical activity can help reduce inflammation and pain. It is important to start slowly and talk to your doctor before beginning an exercise program.
  • Changing your position. Try to sit up straight and avoid slouching. When you stand, keep your weight balanced on both feet. When you sleep, lie on your side with a pillow between your knees.
  • Using a massage to relax the muscles. A massage can help to loosen tight muscles and reduce pain. Take massage as a preventative measure, not just when your back hurts.


Back pains are a very common health complaint. In most cases, the pain is acute and goes away within a few days or weeks with some simple self-care measures. However, there are some cases where the pain can last for months or even years. There are treatments available that can help to relieve the pain. In severe cases, surgery might be necessary. Always talk to your doctor before beginning any treatment for back pain.




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