Question for Betty.
 
I've had back pain for a while now, so I started taking ibuprofen 600 mg, but I'm still in pain after I take it.  What problem could I have?
 
Betty's Answer.
 

Back pain can originate in muscles, ligaments, or discs, or can be a sign of a serious medical illness, including infection (such as kidney infection), malignancy or other systemic disease.  I would encourage you to see a health care provider for an evaluation, which will include a detailed history of back pain for trauma, location, duration, severity, as well as a physical exam.
Risk factors for back pain may include:  smoking, obesity, older age, physically strenuous work, sedentary work (sitting in class all day and long stretches at a computer), anxiety and depression.

Acute back pain due to strain may often resolve without therapy.  Pain that continues past 2 weeks, or with fever, weight loss, loss of bladder or bowel control, shooting pain down a leg, or leg or foot weakness should be evaluated, without delay.