Back Pain Confusion?- A Complete Symptom Checker to Know the Severity
|   May 04, 2017
Back Pain Confusion?- A Complete Symptom Checker to Know the Severity

“Mom, let’s get ready, we are late, it’s my annual day of school”, Mohit said to his mom, “Sorry beta, I wouldn’t be able to come with you, please go with papa, my back is hurting a lot”. “Ok mom…but I will miss you”. Mohit went to the function with his dad. But Sadhana was feeling so bad, it is not the first time, when because of her back problem she has missed any important event. She used to suffer from back pain very often, she had consulted many doctors but nothing serious had been diagnosed in reports.  She often suffers from back pain after physical exertion and only proper rest for a day or two improves the pain. Doctors also suggested her some exercises and life style modifications such as healthy diet, focus on posture and stress reduction.  She is trying to do all efforts to improve her condition but still whenever she gets the pain, she feels very depressed and anxious.

Yes! It is true back pain is one of the most common painful condition that affects the lower spine. It is one of the most common reasons for a doctor’s visit and a leading cause of disability worldwide . It affects more than 3 million people per year and because of factors such as stress level and pregnancy, women are more prone to it than men. According to a scientific research, approximately 80% of people will have low pain at least once in their lives.

Back pain can range from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp pain that makes it hard to move. It can start when you fall or lift something too heavy. Getting older, lack of exercise, being overweight, pregnancy, genetic factor, and occupational reason (having a job that requires heavy lifting, pushing or pulling) are some of the common risk factors that may elevate one's risk for low back pain.

There are mainly two types of back pain- acute and chronic. Acute pain begins suddenly and is usually sharp in nature. It serves as a warning or threat to the body. It is usually of short duration and heals quickly. Chronic pain is prolonged in duration. It persists for weeks, months or years.  It is a major cause of disability and usually associated with prominent mental symptoms such as depression, anger and anxiety.

You know your back hurts. But you may not know whether it is an acute pain or chronic? Take on our quiz to see how severe it really is? Find out where your back pain ranks in this back pain quiz.

Q1. How long have you been suffering from back pain?

  1. It started just a few days ago.
  2. It started 2-3 weeks ago, but it has not gone completely. It still hurts a lot.
  3. It started months ago.

Q2.  What was the causative factor of your back pain?

  1. It started after a recent injury, but now I am feeling better.
  2. It started after a severe fall but it has not improved, getting worse day by day.
  3. I am suffering from it without a clearly determined cause since a long time.

Q3. How would you describe your pain?

  1. It comes suddenly and is usually sharp in nature.
  2. I cannot describe it.
  3. It is usually dull and constantly aching.

Q4. What are the other prominent mental symptoms  you have?

  1. No, I don’t have any other prominent mental symptoms.
  2. Nowadays, I feel irritated because of worsening of my symptoms.
  3. I always feel sad, depressed, fatigued and sleepless.

Q5. Do you have any other chronic degenerative or inflammatory disease conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or degenerative disc disease?

  1. No, I don’t have any chronic disease.
  2. I am not sure about it.
  3. I have been suffering from osteoarthritis for 5 years.

Q6. Your pain is worsened by?

  1. Movement.
  2. Prolonged rest or inactivity.
  3. Prolonged sitting or standing.

Q7. Your pain is relieved by?

  1. Rest.
  2. Not sure.
  3. It often fluctuates.

Q8. Do you face any problem in completing everyday activities?

  1. Not always, only since few days because of the pain.
  2. No, I don’t have any problem with everyday activities.
  3. Yes, it is always difficult to complete my everyday activities.


  • If you answered most of the questions "A" option, then it is most probably an acute pain.  It could indicate a recent injury, fall or any other disease. It serves as a biological warning. Treatment of underlying cause is mandatory.
  • If you answered most of the questions "B" option, then it is possible that your pain has reached a "subacute stage" and you need to take extra care of your condition. It could be converted into "Chronic pain"
  • If you answered most of the questions as "C" option, then, unfortunately, it could be a "Chronic Pain". It could indicate an underlying chronic disease. Sometimes there are no identifying causes available.

Note:  This quiz is for informational purpose only. It is recommended to seek medical attention for confirming the diagnosis.

As it has been said that “prevention is always better than cure” and back pain is one of the common problem that can be prevented by following some simplest measures. Such as:

  • Exercise regularly (according to your physical condition and after a proper medical consultation)
  • Maintain a healthy body weight; being overweight often increases the chances of back pain.
  • Learn how to lift heavy objects safely to protect your lower back.
  • Improve your posture; poor postures are major causes of back pain.
  • Wear low heel shoes, especially if you are prone to back pain.
  • Eat a healthy diet and focus on improving overall health.
  • Manage stress level, higher stress level often increases back pain.
  • Learn yoga, yoga works wonderfully to help easing pain and recurrence. It improves posture and flexibility also.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Try to improve your sleep quality and sleep sideways.

So, these are some common preventive measures that can help a lot and prevent the frequent episodes of back pain. If in spite of these measures, your condition does not improve , you should consult a physician for proper diagnosis of the disease.

And if you are the one like Sadhana, who had no serious cause behind the back pain, you may try alternative medicines such as homeopathy or herbal means for proper relief. They are a good substitute of routine allopathic pain killers.

So did you try any alternative medicines to improve your back pain?

What are the ways that helped you in preventing or curing your disease condition? Please share!

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