How Long Does Back Pain Last on Average?

Updated on December 21, 2020

Suffering from back pains is the last thing you want to go through especially if you are an active person. Back pains will affect your productivity at work or even lead to sick-day off which affects the general running of your organization. Simple tasks such as picking a basket of groceries or a pen from the ground become a challenge.

Having peaceful nights becomes a struggle as you toss and turn a lot in bed trying to find the best sleeping position. Your body needs to rest as a lack of sleep will lower your productivity in various sectors. Some of these pains go away on their own while others can last for weeks or even months. Let us explore the different forms of back pains based on the time they take to disappear:

Acute back pain

It is an abrupt, intense pain that goes away after a few days or weeks. Maintaining a normal curvature of the spine is the key to recovering from acute back pain. Follow these guidelines within the 10-20 days that you have back pains:

Assume the right sitting positions

You should limit your sitting sessions to about 10-15 minutes but you can spread them across the day. Ensure that you have back supported such as a rolled-up towel that you place on your hollow back. Never cross your legs as they increase pressure on your back. When rising from your chair, avoid bending your waist. You can also stretch your waist immediately after rising from a chair.


Keep your shoulders straight, head up, chest forward and your weight evenly balanced on both feet. You should not stand in the same position for long when you have back pains. You can elevate one leg while standing and place it on a low lying box and switch your legs after some time.

Lifting objects

Lifting objects when suffering from back pains may escalate your suffering. Ensure that you have a firm footing before you lift a heavy object. Always stand with a wide stance and keep your feet firm when picking a heavy object. You shouldn’t lift heavy objects above your waistline when you have back pains.

Chronic back pain

Pain that exceeds 12 weeks after an underlying cause of acute pain has been treated or after the initial injury. Only about 20% of acute low back pain cases develop to chronic back pains. Sometimes even if this pain persists, it does not mean that there is a serious underlying medical condition.

Main causes of back pains

Most of the cases of acute back pains are mechanical. It thus means that there is a disruption of either intervertebral discs, muscles, or the spine. Some of the major mechanical causes include:


They come into forms. The traumatic injury occurs from incidents such as accidents, playing sports, or a fall that injures muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The second type of injury can either be a sprain or a strain. A sprain is a torn or an overstretched ligament while a strain is a tear in muscle or tendon. Exercises and treatment can help ease the pain from injuries. 


Can either be spina bifida or skeletal irregularities. The former involves the incomplete development of the protective covering of the spinal cord. Some of the problems that arise from spina bifida are abnormal sensations, paralysis, or malformation of the vertebrae. Skeletal irregularities come in different forms such as scoliosis (a curvature of the spine), kyphosis (excessive outward arch of the spine), and lordosis (an abnormally exaggerated arch in the lower back).

Spinal cord and nerve problems

Comes in different forms such as:

  • Spinal nerve injury, inflammation, and/or injury.
  • Sciatica. Appears when something presses the sciatic nerve that cuts through the buttocks and extends down one leg.
  • Ruptured or herniated disks. This occurs when intervertebral discs bulge outwards or become compressed.

Non-spine sources

  • Tumors that destroy or press on the spinal cord or bony spine and nerves.
  • Kidney stones cause back pains which is usually felt on one side.
  • Fibromyalgia which a chronic pain symptom characterized by fatigue and muscle pain.
  • Endometriosis causes buildup uterine tissues outside the uterus.
  • Pregnancy whereby the back pains fade away after delivery.

It is quite evident that back pains can last from a few days to even months depending on the cause, nature of the injury, and the corrective measures that one takes. According to back pain expert, Dr. Hosny from New Jersey, consulting an expert when the pains persist is advisable so that you can lead a normal life again. Be ready to readjust your lifestyle if you want these back pains to go away forever.

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