Understand Your Back & Muscle Pain

THE BASICS OF BACK AND MUSCLE PAIN

What’s going on back there?

Your search for relief from back and muscle-related pain is a common one. Thankfully, if the pain is minor there are steps you can take on your own to remedy the discomfort and even help prevent future episodes from interrupting your life. With simple home treatment and proper body mechanics, your acute back pain should resolve within a few days to a few weeks. If your pain is severe, gets worse, lasts longer than 10 days, please consult your doctor or pharmacist right away.

WHAT’S BEHIND IT?

Common symptoms of back and muscle pain

Aches and pain anywhere on the back, neck, shoulders and even down in the buttocks and legs is a not-so-subtle sign of back pain. Neck and lower back pain are more common than upper and middle back pain due to the fact that the bones do not flex as much in this region, but pain can still be an issue with the muscles themselves.

Frequent overall back and muscle pain indicators include:

  • Aching muscles
  • Sharp or stabbing pain
  • Dull pain
  • Pain that resonates down to your legs
  • Muscle tightness or stiffness

The 2 types of back and muscle pain

Acute pain is the most common type of back and muscle pain, which can develop quickly and last six weeks or less. This is generally the result of mechanical issues or soft-tissue damage like muscle strain.

Some of the most common causes for acute back and muscle pain include:

  • Poor posture (i.e. hunched over a smartphone, tablet or PC)
  • Prolonged sitting (places more pressure on the spine than standing or walking)
  • Lifting improperly
  • Heavy backpacks
  • Muscle sprain or strain
  • Injury / trauma

The less common type is chronic back pain and generally lasts more than three months. If your pain is severe, worsens, lasts longer than 10 days, or you have any questions about your condition, please consult your health professional right away.

Understand Your Arthritis Pain

THE BASICS OF ARTHRITIS

The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis.

Arthritis symptoms can come and go and include pain, stiffness and swelling, and decreased range of motion. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and can change over time. If you experience pain, see your doctor or pharmacist and follow his/her instructions.

Don't be afraid to talk to your doctor or pharmacist about combining several treatment strategies to get maximum arthritis pain relief.

WHAT'S BEHIND IT?

When it comes to figuring out what causes arthritis, it really depends on the type of arthritis you have. Osteoarthritis can be caused by an injury to the joints, which can break down the cartilage — connective tissue that protects the joints by absorbing stress. See your doctor or pharmacist to develop a pain management plan specific to your arthritis diagnosis.

Understand Your Knee Pain

THE BASICS OF KNEE PAIN

Your knees — they’re among the most important joints in your body. They support your weight and provide stability and a “hinge” to help keep your body moving. But, between standing, walking, running, jumping, crouching and turning, it’s easy to see how there are plenty of ways to experience knee pain. Remember: see your doctor or pharmacist first before you begin any treatment or if your pain gets worse or persists.

WHAT’S BEHIND IT?

Some causes of knee pain include:

  • Injuries. Some common injuries include fractures in the knee bones, a torn meniscus (rubbery cartilage between thighbone and shinbone that absorbs shock), patellar tendinitis (inflammation and irritation of one or more tendons), and a torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), just to name a few.
  • Mechanical Problems. Some examples include a dislocated knee cap; IT band syndrome (tightness of the iliotibial band of tissue running from the hip to the knee); and a loose body, or “floating” piece of bone or cartilage that breaks off in the joint space.

“Get back to doing what you love the best you can.”

Understand Your Shoulder Pain

THE BASICS OF SHOULDER PAIN

Here’s the crazy thing about the shoulder — it’s the most moveable joint in the body, but also one of the most unstable. This is why so many people experience shoulder pain at some point.

The shoulder joint is highly dependent on the surrounding muscles and ligaments to hold it in place. As a result, it’s easy to experience sprains, strains, dislocations, separations, tendinitis, torn rotator cuffs and fractures — all potential causes of shoulder pain. Remember to see your doctor or pharmacist first before you begin any treatment or if your pain gets worse or persists.

“It’s the most moveable joint in the body, but also one of the most unstable.”

Understand Your Headache Pain

THE BASICS OF HEADACHE PAIN

Headaches happen when the nerve endings in different parts of your head and neck become irritated. There are many different kinds of headaches that occur for a variety of reasons.

Here are some of the most common:

Tension headache

  • Dull pressure or tightness on both sides of the head and sometimes the neck
  • Can last anywhere from half an hour to a whole week
  • Can cause fatigue in some people
  • Exact cause is unknown—stress appears to be a common trigger

Migraine

  • Throbbing on one or both sides of the head
  • Can range from moderate to severe pain
  • Usually lasts 4-72 hours
  • Can cause additional symptoms, like nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sounds
  • Exact cause isn’t entirely understood, but environmental factors and genetics may contribute
  • Triggers include stress, changes in sleep patterns, certain foods and food additives (like the
    sweetener aspartame), certain types of medications, and hormonal changes in women

Cluster headaches

  • Sharp, severe pain that comes on quickly, usually around or behind one eye
  • Occur in frequent attacks, or “clusters,” that can go on for weeks or months
  • Each attack can last 15 minutes to 3 hours
  • Can cause additional symptoms, like tearing, runny nose, congestion and agitation
  • No known causes, but an abnormal hypothalamus (part of the brain that plays a role in nervous and endocrine systems) may play a role
  • No known triggers, but drinking alcohol during a cluster headache can cause an even worse headache

“Get back to living your days with your pain under control.”

Understand Your Back Pain

THE BASICS OF BACK PAIN

If you suffer from back pain, you’re far from alone.

You can experience pain in the upper or lower back, the left or right side — it can even radiate from one spot to another area of the back or body. Back pain is either acute (lasting from a few days to a few weeks) or chronic (lasting for more than 3 months). Acute back pain is more common and can be caused by some type of accident, like a fall or sports injury.

WHAT’S BEHIND IT?

There are a number of different things that can cause back pain. Some of the most common
causes are:

  • Strained back muscles or ligaments.
  • Bulging or ruptured discs (cushions between the vertebrae, or spinal bones).
  • Osteoarthritis

Each of these conditions are known to cause pain. See your doctor or pharmacist to develop a treatment plan just right for you.

Aleve is indicated for the temporary relief of minor aches and pains

Aleve: This medicine may not be right for you. Read the label before purchase. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional. Incorrect use could be harmful.