What is back pain?
Back pain is pain or discomfort felt in the back because of some damage to muscles, bones, joints and nerves of the spine. It is one of the most common ailments that affect people. According to the American College of Physicians, back pain is the second-most common reason for visits to doctors in the United States alone. As much as 85 percent of the population is affected by back pain at least once in their lifetimes. Low back pain is a major cause of missed work and disability in the U.S. and as much as $50 billion are spent to treat it according to the National Institutes of Health.
Acute back pain lasts less than four weeks while sub-acute back pain may extend up to 12 weeks. Chronic back pain is back pain that lasts beyond 12 weeks or three months. The pain affects the neck (cervical), upper back (thoracic), lower back (lumbar) and the tailbone. This corresponds to the sections of the spine. Most cases of back pain originate from the lumbar region or the lower back.