Usually when back pain strikes, we can pinpoint it. It could be lumbar (lower back) pain, it could be cervical (neck) pain, a pinched nerve, and so on. But what happens when we cannot tell exactly where our pain is coming from?

This is called nonspecific back pain, which is defined as pain that’s difficult to determine. Sometimes it can even be hard for a physician to determine the root cause. Nonspecific back pain often occurs in the lower back, but can occur anywhere.

Nonspecific pain is pain that is confined to the back only – it does not go down the legs. It is pain that usually feels worse if you bend or straighten the back. You may find yourself in various positions on the floor when dealing with this type of pain.

study published in The Lancet said, “Non-specific low back pain has become a major public health problem worldwide. The lifetime prevalence of low back pain is reported to be as high as 84%, and the prevalence of chronic low back pain is about 23%, with 11-12% of the population being disabled by low back pain.”

The study found that nonspecific back pain can usually be self-managed. But what is the cause? As with most back pain, there is an answer somewhere. The cause of nonspecific back pain is often due to:

  • Muscle strain
  • Muscle spasm
  • Ligament sprain
  • Osteoarthritis
  • A contained (not slipped or herniated) disc pressing on a nerve

Although it may be harder for you to self-diagnose nonspecific back pain, the pain is still there. This can be frustrating to many patients. You can try some at-home techniques to treat nonspecific back pain such as a heating pad or light stretching. There are natural remedies for back pain.

If you are in a lot of pain, you may be too uncomfortable to get on the ground stretching or anything else. If you are in extreme pain or if you’re still in pain after a day or two, contact us. Or call our dedicated Medical Concierge at 800-890-1964.