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Back Pain

Back pain is pain felt in the upper or lower back, and, for adults, it's a common complaint. It affects 8 out of 10 people at some point in their lives.

Back pain can be acute or chronic. Acute back pain comes on suddenly and will last from a few days to a few weeks, while chronic back pain lasts for 3 months or longer.

Symptoms of back pain may include:

  • Muscle aches
  • Shooting or stabbing pain
  • Pain that radiates down your leg
  • Limited flexibility or range of motion of the back
  • Inability to stand up straight

The most common back pain is experienced in the lower back and often goes away within 4-6 weeks. However, you should see your doctor if you have severe back pain that doesn't go away in 3 days. You should also see a doctor if your back pain is the result of an injury or if you experience any of the following:

  • Numbness or tingling in your back
  • Weakness, pain, or numbness in your legs
  • Trouble urinating
  • Fever
  • Unintentional weight loss

It is important to understand that back pain is not a diagnosis, but a symptom of a medical condition. Some conditions that are commonly linked to back pain include:

  • Muscle or ligament strain
  • Bulging or ruptured discs
  • Degeneration of the discs
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Arthritis
  • Skeletal irregularities
  • Osteoporosis

If you have been living with chronic back pain, there are healthy choices you can make on a daily basis to help manage your condition

For more information about back pain and other health conditions, members may log in to Blue Access for Members.

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