Does Back Pain Go Away On Its Own?

Four out of five Americans will suffer from back pain at one point or other in their lives. It’s the second most common reason for visiting the doctor’s office and one of the biggest reasons for missed work every year, costing billions in lost productivity.

Most back pain is non-organic, which means that it’s not caused by arthritis, fractures, or infections. The most common causes are injuries, which include ruptured disks, strained muscles, and irritated joints. While back pain can be caused suddenly, sometimes even the slightest of movements can lead to pain. Poor posture, obesity, and stress are frequently at the bottom of cases like these.

Does Back Pain Go Away By Itself?

While the spine is surprisingly efficient at healing naturally, some pain requires medical intervention. Until recently, conventional medical wisdom insisted that back pain would heal on its own if it was kept immobilized. That treatment led to many people being bedridden for afflictions that could have been healed if the injury had been treated properly.

Back injuries that are left untreated may feel better temporarily, but they often return at a later point. One study in particular showed that 33 percent of individuals with lower back pain have symptoms that last for more than a month; and only nine percent of the individuals who suffer with lower back pain for more than 30 days were pain-free five years later. Other studies have shown that when back pain is ignored, it does not go away on its own. These studies show that lower back pain almost never goes away without treatment.

How to Prevent Long-Term Back Pain

If you’re coping with back pain for more than two or three days, then you need to visit your chiropractic team. Chances are good that the pain you’re coping with is a result of an injury that can be effectively treated without long-term consequences. Many people find that the relief they feel after a month of chiropractic treatment is greater than that experienced after visiting with their primary care physician.

Symptoms That Require Immediate Chiropractic Care

If you experience any of the following symptoms, contact your chiropractic team as soon as it’s possible for you to do so:

  • Pain that radiates below the knee.
  • Numbness in your feet, legs, groin or rectum.
  • Fever, nausea, or vomiting.
  • Your pain is related to an injury.
  • You’re suffering from intense pain.
  • You are unable to move around.

The answer to the question of whether or not pain goes away on its own is a definite “yes and no.” The body is a remarkable machine that’s capable of healing itself alone in the vast majority of cases. However, intense pain or pain that lasts for more than two to three days requires a trip to your Doctor of Chiropractic to avoid future repercussions.


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