Back Pain

Updated 06 July 2015

Acute vs. chronic back pain

Acute back pain usually resolves within a few days; chronic back pain persists.

Most cases of back pain are acute, i.e. the pain starts suddenly and intensely and lasts for a short time – usually less than a month.

Acute back pain is not usually caused by a serious medical condition and most cases resolve within a few days without treatment.

Chronic back pain persists beyond three months and even slight movements can trigger it. Chronic back pain often requires specialist advice.


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Susan qualified as a Physiotherapist in 1990, and completed her master’s degree in Physiotherapy in 2013 at the University of Pretoria. She has a special interest in human biomechanics, as well as the interaction between domestic and work-related ergonomics.

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