How is low back pain treated?

Most back injuries will heal with a conservative treatment approach. Usually, with conservative treatment, the pain will subside within 4 to 7 days. Conservative treatment includes bed rest (no more than 2 to 3 days), acetaminophen (non-aspirin over-the-counter pain killer) or an anti-inflammatory medication, and cold packs to diminish swelling and muscle spasm. If there is no improvement after 4 to 7 days, contact your doctor.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 11/01/2016.


  • National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Back Pain Information Page Accessed 12/29/2016.
  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Low Back Pain Accessed 12/29/2106.
  • Bhangle SD, Sapru S, Panush RS. Back pain made simple: an approach based on principles and evidence. Cleve Clin J Med. 2009;76:393–399.
  • North American Spine Society. Chronic Low Back Pain (PDF) Accessed 12/29/2016.

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