Categories of Back Pain - Types of Back Pain

Back pain may be types or categorized by the duration of time that a person has been experiencing symptoms in their neck, upper back, and lower back. Though the length of symptom suffering may not give an indication of the cause of the problem, it is useful to know, for both yourself or the specialist treating you. Generally, acute (short duration) back pain will resolve on its own in most situations, and longer (chronic) durations may be more likely to require physical therapy or other medical interventions.

Acute vs. Chronic pain: While some pain is relatively fleeting, the result of an increase in the intensity of athletic activities, such as moves or snow shoveling, some types of pain (such as back pain) may linger much longer, and begin to feel like it will go on forever. Some types of back pain have the potential to become chronic problems, unless you take action to change what's causing or perpetuating your pain. just as pain can be divided into general categories based on cause (e.g. spinal stenosis, nerve root compression), it can also be grouped by how long it lasts. While this may seem like an arbitrary way of categorizing back pain, the treatment may be much different based on how long it has gone on. For example, doctors will be much more likely to recommend more conservative treatments, or none at all, with the hope that it will get better on its own, which it normally does for most people.

Here are the three categories based on duration of pain:
Acute - Acute back pain may come on suddenly, apparently for no reason, or the result of overwork, strain, or accident. Acute back pain may come on rapidly, even when degenerative changes causing the pain have been going on for years. Acute pain often comes on rapidly and last for one to several days. Other doctors and experts regard and pain lasting less than 1 month as acute. The most common type of back pain is acute.

Subacute - Subacute pain lasts between 1 week to as long as a few months (up to 12 weeks by general consensus). Approximately 10% to 20% of cases are classified as subacute, using this time guideline. Some books and website classify subacute back pain as any pain lasting between 4-12 weeks.

Chronic - There is more consensuses for the timeline for this condition. Chronic back pain is back pain lasting more than 12 weeks (3 months). Chronic back pain may include the full range of symptoms (pain, numbness, weakness, tingling) and severity (mild, moderate, severe) of symptoms. Fortunately, this is the least common type of back pain, accounting for about 5-10% of all cases. Unfortunately, this is a condition that can greatly impair the life of someone who suffers the condition.

In the next page we will take a closer look at the main causes and symptoms of back pain, and the options you have available to strengthen the spine itself, or strengthen the structures and muscles around the spine to decompress the discs and joints of the back. We will present you all the back pain relief options available to you to restore you to the highly productive person you have always been.