• 2 months ago

    Back ache that won't go away

    For over a week I've been having back pain. The pain is mostly located a few inches below my right shoulder blade. I've tried NSAIDs, heat, massages, yoga, even going braless. But the pain keeps coming back. When my husband massages my back he said that he feels knots and massages the pain away but the pain comes right back 5 to 10 minutes later.
    I emailed my doctor. He said to try epsom salt soaks, deep tissue massages and stretching. But the pain keeps coming back. My doctor doesn't have any appointments available for 2 weeks so I'm a little desperate. Any ideas what this could be?
    I'm only 33. I do work a job that requires lifting but I usually get lower back pain from that.


  • 2 months ago

    RE: Back ache that won't go away

    I am sorry you are going through this. You may want to consider going to an urgent care clinic for evaluation and treatment.

    I pray you find answers as nd relief soon.
  • 1 month ago

    RE: Back ache that won't go away


    My name is Scott and I am currently a second year Doctor of Physical Therapy student. My fiancé has been dealing with back pain similar to what you describe and it has been going on for quite some time. She has tried NSAIDs, muscle relaxers, massage, Epsom salt, yoga, etc, to no avail. Seeing your primary care physician is a good start to rule out other possible causes, but a physical therapist specializes in the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders. In most states, you can schedule a visit with a physical therapist without seeing your medical doctor first. If you are desperate, and your physician is not immediately available, I would recommend contacting a physical therapist for an examination and possibly treatment.

    As I mentioned earlier, physical therapists specialize in the treatment of the musculoskeletal system. This means that they examine, evaluate, and treat issues dealing with muscles, joints, posture, and movement patterns. Physical therapists often encounter patient who are dealing with neck or back pain and much research has been done showing the effectiveness of physical therapy in treating these conditions. Physical therapists not only utilize stretching and strengthening exercises but massage, mobilization/manipulation, ultrasound, dry needling, and many more techniques to treat specific conditions.

    Unfortunately, when individuals are faced with acute or chronic pain, the prescription of pain relieving drugs is often the first line of treatment. While effective, these drugs treat the symptoms, not the cause. Physical therapy has been shown, in most cases, to be effective in treating both the symptoms and the causes of pain. In fact, several studies have shown physical therapy to be more effective in terms of long-term pain relief when compared to drugs such as NSAIDs and opioids.1

    Exercise is important, not only from a functional perspective, but from a health perspective. Physical therapists work with patients and develop exercises programs to correct muscle weakness and muscle imbalances. Often tight or weak muscles are the cause of back and neck pain. Other factors such as posture, obesity, and inactivity can contribute to your musculoskeletal health. A study tracking the lifestyle of 20,000 individuals over an 11 year period revealed that people who exercised on a regular basis experienced 23% less chronic pain. Exercise is important, but knowing which exercises to perform and the proper technique is also important. Physical therapists undergo years of training to learn specific exercises that target and strengthen individual muscles as well as muscle groups.

    In addition, physical therapists can treat trigger points (knots) and the formation of scar tissue with manual therapy. While physical therapists implement massage techniques into their practice, there are several skills physical therapists are trained in beyond the scope of a massage therapist. Manual therapy is a treatment approach utilized by physical therapists that manipulates the joints, soft tissue, and connective tissue of a patient. A study examining the effects of manual therapy on individuals with mid and upper back pain showed it to be more effective than stabilizing exercises alone.3 I have a strong belief that you would benefit from manual therapy as you have mentioned massage temporarily providing relief to your symptoms.

    Beyond exercises and manual therapy, a physical therapist provides the patient with the education and knowledge to treat their condition at home, on their own time. Depending on the condition, many patients will see a physical therapist for an examination and several treatment sessions. During and after treatment, the physical therapist will prescribe an individualized home exercise program for the patient to follow. This allows the patient to continue therapy without having to meet with the physical therapist. Aside from the home exercise program, physical therapists can educate individuals on proper body mechanics and posture which is crucial for maintaining musculoskeletal health. Body mechanics are particularly important for individuals who frequently bend and lift heavy objects. Research has shown that even a brief exposure to education on body mechanics can have a profound reduction in prevalence of back pain.4 Possibly changing the way you lift objects at work will correct whatever is causing your pain.

    I hope this information was helpful, I know not being able to find a solution to pain related issues can be stressful. Stay positive, there is an answer out there. Physical therapy is a good place to start. If you have any questions regarding the information I posted, I would suggest contacting your primary care physician or a licensed physical therapist for feedback. Take care and best of luck! 


    1. Mintken PE, Moore JR, Flynn TW. Physical therapists’ role in solving the opioid epidemic. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2018;48(5):349-353.
    2. Holth HS, Werpen HK, Zwart JA, Hagen K. Physical inactivity is associated with chronic musculoskeletal complaints 11 years later: results from the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2008;9:159.
    3. Go SU, Lee BH. Effects of manual therapy on shoulder pain in office workers. J Phys Ther Sci. 2016;28(9):2422-2425.
    4. George SZ, Childs JD, Teyhen DS, et al. Brief psychosocial education, not core stabilization, reduced incidence of low back pain: results from the prevention of low back pain in the military cluster randomized trial. BMC Med. 2011;9:128.
  • 1 month ago

    RE: Back ache that won't go away

    Hello, may I ask what does the pain feel like? It is dull or throbbing or sharp? I have had episodes of mid and upper back pain for a long time. I have found that an acupressure mat can provide some relief. You can buy one on Amazon. The other thing that helps is capsaicin creme or ointment. This is made from hot peppers and brings heat to the area. If you cover the area with plastic or bubble wrap after applying the creme it will be extra hot. Good luck. I hope you see this and try this, and if so please let me know if it helps.
  • 1 month ago

    RE: Back ache that won't go away

    Maybe you should go to a different Dr. and have a thorough exam; it possibly could be a kidney, or gallbladder problem? Hope this helps!