We’ve all come home from a hard day at work and felt that aching pain in our back. If it just lasted a little while, it would probably be fine. But when that annoying pain doesn’t go away, it can disturb your sleep and your daily activities.

Usually, back pain comes from pulling or straining a muscle. These pains are fairly minor and only last a few days. You can manage the pain with medication if needed, but might also find relief from stretching, or massage. Unlike many other injuries, if you strain your back muscles, you won’t be helped as much if you rely on bed rest. While you shouldn’t keep doing whatever pulled the muscles, light activity will help to ease pain and speed healing.

If you have chronic minor back pain, your problem may be your posture. Whenever you sit, stand, lay down, or do anything else, pressure is put on different parts of your spine. If it’s in the proper position, the pressure will be absorbed evenly and you’ll be fine, but if your spine is misaligned, this can cause pressure points and pain. To relieve minor pain, you may need to change your mattress, chair and even your shoes since they could all be the cause of the pain. It is also important to try to maintain proper posture while standing, sitting, and even sleeping.

If your back pain is more severe, it may be caused by a more serious problem. Problems like herniated discs, spinal stenosis, fibromyalgia, and arthritis can cause chronic back pain. If your back pain is severe or constant, see a doctor to diagnose the problem and rule out more serious issues like cancer or infection.

Treatment of back problems generally varies depending on what is causing your pain, which is why it’s important to get a correct diagnosis. Depending on your condition, treatment could vary from simple stretching and muscle-building exercises to realign your spine properly, to surgery to correct a physical problem. In some cases, your doctor may simply have to prescribe pain management drugs like pain relievers, antidepressants, and muscle relaxers.

Many people don’t want to have back pain treated because they are wary of surgeries and medications, especially narcotics and other strong painkillers. If the medical approach is not for you, there are various other pain management options available. Many people find relief from massage, chiropractic adjustments, and even less traditional methods like diaphragmatic breathing and visualization exercises. While these methods can help with the pain, you should still see a doctor in case of a serious problem.

Many people simply suffer through back pain until it goes away. Whatever the cause, chronic back pain is not something you have to just “deal” with. There are many treatment options available to you, but you have to take a proactive stance.

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