Back pain often improves after a couple of weeks. But if your pain becomes chronic or prevents you from enjoying everyday activities, or if it keeps you awake at night, it’s time to get help. Chronic pain can be debilitating and can even lead to depression.
The first step is to determine what’s causing your pain. You might have an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), CT (computed tomography) or X-ray scan. Or your doctor may do a myelogram, where dye is injected into your spine so that your nerves can be viewed on a CT scan.