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How long does it typically take to recover from back pain due to straining my back, and what factors affect recovery time?

Age: 16 - 29
Spine Health Sport Medicine Pain
DOCTOR’S ANSWER (2)

Back sprain or strain, usually caused by injury to your back muscles, takes about a month to recover.

The initial severe back pain in the first week after injury will gradually be replaced by a nagging back ache usually in the mornings and after prolonged sitting for 2-3 weeks, before subsiding to residual lingering stiffness for another 2-3 weeks as your back muscle slowly but gradually and naturally heals.

Pain medications, physiotherapy, chiro, TCM are optional and not needed in every case (although may help to ease pain temporarily). It is important to rest and care your back, avoiding physical strenuous activities and prolonged sitting during this month or else your recovery will be delayed and your pain will not improve after a month.

Despite doing this and your pain still persists more than a month, a more serious diagnosis (e.g. slipped disc, fracture) other than back sprain/strain must be suspected and further evaluated - usually by MRI scan.

73 views 30 Jun 2019

Hi there, 

The course of recovery can be quite individual, so, unfortunately, there is no "typical" recovery period. 

That said, there can be a number of factors that influence the recovery, including

  1. Past back pain - this is a risk for further back pain
  2. What the underlying problem might be
  3. Adherence to treatment and rehabilitation
  4. Physical fitness - generally the lower your fitness, the higher the risk of chronic back pain
  5. Your weight - people carrying more weight than is ideal are usually at higher risk of back pains
  6. Previous surgeries
  7. Social factors - unhappiness in jobs, relationships, and life can lead make pains seem worse than the might otherwise be!

I hope this helps.

BW

Dr Dinesh

36 views 2 Jul 2019
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