Back pain can be sharp, dull, acute, or chronic.
Measures for Self-Care:
- Take an over-the-counter medicine for relieving the pain, if needed.
- For the first 48 hours, apply a cold pack to the pain-afflicted area. Do this for five to ten minutes at a time, several times a day.
- After 48 hours, apply heat (e.g., hot water bottle, hot shower), several times a day. - Continue your regular activities to the extent possible. Rest your back if you must, but don't remain in bed for more than 2 to 3 days, even if your back hurts a lot.
- Pain that spreads down the legs and below the knee.
- Pain that is very intense, or has lasted five days or more.
- Increased pain when you move, cough, sneeze, lift something, or strain.
- Loss of control over bladder or bowel.
- Sensation of pain, burning, or itching when you pass urine, or if urine turns bloody or cloudy.
- Fever or vomiting.
- Any serious injury affecting the neck, spine, or back.
- The onset of pain being sudden and starting with a "cracking" sound.
- Back pain accompanied by difficulty in breathing and lightheadedness.