By Audrey-Anastasia Alleyne, Contributing writer

Back pain can be excruciating. It is so painful that anyone who suffers from it would do anything to prevent it. The best way to deal with this common, banal ailment is really to prevent it from occurring. However, many ailments like arthritis or a prolapsed disk can be the cause. In this case, you need to get to the root of the problem.

There are several other causes of back pain. Strained muscles or pulled ligaments are common causes. Stress or injury, poor posture, extended sitting, extended standing, incorrect lifting and twisting simultaneously, and sleeping badly, are only drops in the ocean of the myriad causes of back pain. Most of the time, if care is not taken, a back injury can lead to further injury. While there are certain techniques which can be used in treating the before mentioned causes, patients suffering from back pain caused from ailments and diseases, need to treat the actual ailment disease in order to get relief.

Back pains caused by bone infections or tumors, kidney infections, sudden, unexplained back pain, fibromyosotis, scoliosis, cancer and a host of others in this genre, definitely require a doctor's evaluation. Self-treatment of back pain not caused by a disease can be a matter of exercising, practicing and maintaining good posture, sitting correctly and losing weight, since obesity is known to strain back muscles.

Most cases of sudden back pain seem to heal completely with bed rest and/or over the counter analgesic medicine drugs. However, caution should be taken here if you suffer from certain ailments like asthma, kidney disease, diabetes, heart disease, or if you are scheduled for surgery. You should consult your doctor. You should also consult a doctor if you are taking prescription drugs to lower high blood pressure, or if you are pregnant.

Corticosteroid injections are another form of treatment, but they only work for limited periods, if the pain is confined to a particular spot. In respect to rest, a firm mattress with adequate support like placing a board under it is usually recommended. Also, try to sleep on your side, with your knees drawn yup slightly. It also helps to lie on a mattress on the floor.

Aerobic exercises help, but avoid strengthening exercises which involve the back and abdominal muscles. If back pain symptoms recur, try different exercises. Physical therapy from a professional therapist or chiropractic care are also beneficial. You should resort to these measures if your pain is too severe and your self-treatment methods fail to give adequate relief.