Back Pain

Back pain—Is it just a part of getting older, or is there something you can do?

August 29, 2021

Back pain is one of the most common chronic conditions that Canadians suffer from. Did you know that 4 out of 5 adults will experience at least one episode of back pain in their lives?

When should I see a doctor?

Back pain most often resolves on its own with home treatment, however, in some cases you may want to see a doctor. This includes if your back pain:

  • Persists for more than a few weeks
  • Is severe and doesn’t improve after resting
  • Spreads down your legs, especially if it extends below your knee
  • Causes weakness, numbness, or tingling
  • Is accompanied by weight loss


It is important to seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following symptoms because they could signal a serious medical problem:

  • Back pain causing bowel or bladder problems
  • Back pain accompanied by a fever
  • Back pain following a fall, blow to your back, or other injury

Is back pain during pregnancy normal?

Many pregnant women complain of back pain. This is because as the fetus is growing you are gaining weight causing your centre of gravity to shift, at the same time your hormones are relaxing your joints.

But this doesn’t mean there is nothing you can do! Try some of the tips below for relief:

  • Practice good posture—try to keep good posture when sitting or standing, hold your chest high and keep your shoulders and back relaxed

  • Stay supported—avoid high heel shoes and consider a maternity support belt

  • Lift with your legs—remember to squat down when lifting objects and ask for help if you need it!

  • Sleep on your side—try using pillows to get comfy

  • Try a massage—ask your partner to give you a massage, or try hot or cold packs for relief

  • Stay physically active—with your doctors approval try incorporating physical activity to help strengthen your back and core muscles

What can you do to treat back pain?

If back pain doesn’t go away on its own a variety of treatment options are available to help ease your pain. Every person is different and your doctor will help determine what treatment is right for you.

Some common treatment options include:

  • Medication—over-the-counter or prescription medications may help relieve the pain. Injecting medication may also be considered to deliver medication exactly where it is needed.

  • Physical therapy—exercises can help strengthen your abdominal and back muscles, and increase flexibility.

  • Surgery—If you have not responded to other therapy, surgery may be an option to help relieve your pain.

  • Alternative therapies—chiropractic care, yoga, acupuncture, or massage may help ease your back pain.

Can someone at Pulse On Call help me?

Of course! Schedule an online doctors appointment and one of our team members will be happy to help. Our licensed Canadian physicians can help diagnose and can also provide prescriptions online.

If additional testing is required, our doctors will help find a nearby facility who can help carry out the test.

The best part? You can do it from the comfort of your own home and it’s free if you have OHIP coverage!

*Please Note:

Please note that all information within this posting is up-to-date at the time of publication.