Back pain is one of the most common conditions people suffer from, with nearly 9 out of 10 adults experiencing it at some point in their lives. Treatment varies case-by-case depending on the type of pain, duration, and cause. Patients are asked to report their level of pain, usually between a scale of 1-10, with 1 representing mild or none, and 10 representing excruciating or unbearable. They are also asked to describe the pain, whether it is a dull ache, piercing, or burning sensation. Durations are characterized as either acute (less than 7 weeks), sub-acute (7-12 weeks), or chronic (persistent).
There are numerous potential causes of back pain ranging from overuse, misuse, or injury to problems with the nerves, muscles, bones, joints, or specific areas of the spine, as well as certain internal organs such as the gallbladder and pancreas. For some, back pain is an annoyance or inconvenience, yet for others it can be debilitating, a sign of serious underlying degenerative, neuromuscular, or musculoskeletal disorders.