A Guide to Understanding Your Back Pain

Mark Beasley's picture

This blog is a handy guide to understanding different types of back pain.

It explains each type clearly, including what causes them, what the symptoms are, and how long they usually last.

It's really important to know which type of back pain you're dealing with so you can manage it properly.

The post also gives some tips on how to take care of yourself if you're dealing with back pain.

Each section links to detailed leaflets for further reading, empowering you to make informed decisions about your health.



A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding Your Back Pain:

- Types, Causes, and How to Manage It


Dealing with back pain can really throw a wrench in your day-to-day life.

But here's the thing – not all back pain is the same.


Did you know back pain comes in 3 different flavors?

- acute,

- chronic,

- and there's this one called sciatica, which has its own set of quirks.


Let's break it down so you can understand what might be going on with your back.


Acute Back Pain:

  • What is it? Sudden, intense pain usually caused by an injury or strain.
  • Causes: Lifting heavy objects incorrectly, sudden movements, falls, etc.
  • Symptoms: Sharp pain, muscle spasms, limited movement.
  • Duration: Lasts a few days to weeks and often resolves on its own.
  • When to Seek Help: If severe, not improving with rest, or accompanied by numbness or weakness.

For a more detailed exploration of acute back pain, its causes, symptoms, and management strategies, please refer to our comprehensive .

Chronic Back Pain:

  • What is it? Pain that lasts more than three months.
  • Causes: Can be due to failed healing, degenerative conditions, or ongoing stress.
  • Symptoms: Dull to sharp, persistent pain affecting daily life.
  • Differences: Often less clear cause and may be accompanied by psychological factors.
  • Risk Factors: Age, lack of exercise, poor posture, stress, etc.

For a deeper insight into chronic back pain, including potential treatment options and coping strategies, check out our detailed.


  • What is it? Pain along the sciatic nerve, usually due to compression.
  • Causes: Herniated disk, bone spur, spinal stenosis, etc.
  • Symptoms: Pain from lower back down the leg, often one-sided.
  • Distinguishing Factor: Pain radiates down the leg from the spine.
  • Risk Factors: Age-related changes, obesity, certain occupations, etc.

To understand more about the causes of sciatica, its symptoms, and how it is diagnosed and treated, you can check out our two leaflets on and to learn more.


When to Get Help:

When back pain interfere with your daily routine, it's important to get some expert advice. You can choose from different specialists like physical therapists, sports massage therapists, physiotherapists, osteopaths, chiropractors, or other medical pros. Just pick the one that suits your pain, preferences, and what you believe about staying healthy and feeling good.


When to Visit a Specialist:

It's a good idea to make an appointment if your back pain is really bad and doesn't get better with self-care, lasts more than a few weeks, or stops you from doing your usual activities. Also, if you notice other symptoms like fever, weight loss, or if your legs feel super weak along with the back pain, it's super important to get help from a pro right away.


Why Getting the Right Diagnosis Matters

Getting the right diagnosis is key for getting the right treatment. It helps figure out what's causing your pain and makes sure there's nothing more serious going on. Your doctor will check you out and might ask for some scans like an MRI or CT scan to get a good look at what's happening inside your back.


Taking Care of Yourself

While you wait for your appointment, there are things you can do at home to ease your pain. Try using hot or cold packs on your back, doing gentle activities that don't strain your back too much, and taking over-the-counter pain meds if you need to. Avoid doing stuff that makes your pain worse and focus on moving gently to keep mobile without making things worse. Find more help in our


Wrapping It Up

Understanding what's going on with your back is the first step to getting it sorted out.

If you're having a tough time with back pain, don't hesitate to reach out to us at Therapy Station, Stoney Stanton.

Our team of experts are here to help you find a treatment plan that works for you and help you get back to feeling like yourself again.

 today and let's kick that pain to the curb!



Disclaimer: This article is intended for educational purposes only and should not be taken as professional medical advice. The information provided herein is based on general medical knowledge and does not account for individual circumstances. It is crucial to consult with a qualified healthcare provider for diagnosis and treatment options tailored to your specific health condition.

Mark Beasley's picture
About Mark Beasley

Mark Beasley MFHT Clinic Director and Sports Therapist Therapy Station Ltd. mark@therapystation.co.uk

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