Aching back muscles can be an agonizing condition, but usually do not entail any serious underlying issue requiring professional treatment. Aching muscles are virtually always due to overuse and minor injury consistent with repetitive stress to the muscular fibers and attaching ligaments and tendons.
Most minor to moderate back muscle pain will resolve in a matter of hours or days and only rarely does a muscular complaint become a chronic concern. This essay provides some information for patients who suffer from back muscle ache due to known or unknown circumstances.
As previously mentioned, overuse is the main reason why muscles will ache. Extended periods of hard labor, exercise or repetitive motion will wear out even the strongest back muscles, but will certainly have a torturous effect on muscles which are not acclimated to being so actively used. Lactic acid builds up in overly tired muscles, since this metabolic waste product can not be removed fast enough to prevent painful symptoms.
In some cases of particularly brutal work, the back muscles, or attaching tendons and ligaments, may suffer minor tears and pulls, typically known as back strain. These are minor injuries and do not require any more care than simple heat or ice and maybe some OTC medication for pain management.
In some scenarios, muscles might ache from disuse or inactivity, in people who lead sedentary lifestyles.
Chronic muscle pain is not normal and might be the sign of a more serious anatomical or mindbody condition.
Chronic back muscle pain in the lumbar region is often blamed on some coincidental spinal abnormality, sacroiliac joint issue or other structural disorder. In the upper back and neck, chronic muscle pain is often blamed on the same spinal irregularities or the occurrence of thoracic outlet syndrome.
In some cases, the diagnosis is accurate, but it is crucial to explore and rule out other possible explanations before seeking any treatment for the suspected source. This is particularly true for unverified suspected causations.
Remember, chronic muscular pain might be the result of a disease process, such as fibromyalgia, a systemic concern, a vascular disorder, an ischemic syndrome or even a severe dietary deficiency.
If you know that you worked too hard or for too long, then there is no need to wonder why your back hurts. Take it easy for a couple of days and let it settle down. Ice will work great the first 24 hours, followed by heat the next 24 to 48. Wet heat, such as soaking in a warm tub or using wet towels, can work wonders once the inflammatory phase has passed.
Try not to take prescription drugs for back pain, as these should only be used for far more serious symptomatic complaints. If it is truly needed, take an Advil or 2 and be done with it.
If your pain continues, worsens or comes on without explanation, it is wise to contact your doctor and schedule a consultation to see what may be causing the problem. Be very careful about the diagnostic and treatment process, since this could be the start of a very long and convoluted path if you allow it. Trust me, I know from personal experience.