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Back Pain Basics

Types of Back Pain

As we age, the daily wear and tear on our bodies puts us at risk for back pain. Habitual activities like gardening, picking up a child, unloading the dishwasher or even coughing, can cause back pain.

Back pain is categorized by how long it lasts. Short-term back pain is called acute pain and long-term is referred to as chronic pain. Determining the type of pain you are experiencing will help you and your doctor decide on the best way to treat it.


Acute Back Pain>

slippery hallway
Acute back pain is often described as a very sharp pain or a dull ache. Treatment is short-term, and you should improve or even completely recover from acute back pain within four to eight weeks. Common triggers include:

falling or slipping
carrying a heavy purse, briefcase, or backpack
unexpected, demanding physical effort
improper lifting technique
car accident
sports injury
cradling your phone with your shoulder
poor sitting or standing posture

Chronic Back Pain >

Chronic back pain is commonly described as an aching deep pain in an area of your back or traveling down your legs, and usually lasts more than three to six months. Treatment usually involves therapy and, in some cases, surgery. The best pain management tool for chronic back pain is still activity. Recent research shows that whole-body resistance training can significantly reduce chronic lower back pain


Back to Basics booklet >

Back to basics: a how-to booklet designed to recover from and prevent back injuries. This booklet will help you understand the mechanics of back pain and show you some easy preventative strategies that will assist you to keep your back healthy.

English PDF.

French PDF.

To order this booklet, go to our Resources page.




snap shots of activities

The key to good back health, whether you're maintaining a strong back or recovering from back pain, is to get active and stay active.

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