Back pain is not terribly uncommon for many people, as the back muscles work very hard to support the entire body even when sitting down or at rest. Many people also have very poor posture, as they might lean over a computer screen or not mind how they hold themselves when standing, driving, and the like. In turn, their back muscle begin to feel achy and sore. While you always want to see a doctor when you have a question about any pain you might be feeling, note when you should see a doctor for back pain in particular.
Were you recently in a car accident, even just a minor fender bender? Did you fall off a ladder or chair, or even slip while walking and wind up on your back? Even if you didn't feel much pain at the time, back pain following such an accident should be checked by a doctor. In some cases, the muscles may become somewhat numb after an injury or accident so that you don't feel pain right away, but notice it after a few days. In those cases, have it checked out to see if you tore a ligament or bruised a muscle and need medical intervention.
If you have numbness or tingling in the fingers, arms, upper shoulders, or legs along with your back pain, you want to see a doctor. This often signals nerve pain and even nerve damage, or may be a sign of injury or trauma to the back of which you're not aware. Be sure to mention this added tingling or numbness when you do see a doctor so he or she can check for nerve damage and not just muscle damage in the back.
Home remedies don't help
Minor back pain caused by poor posture or general stiffness in the back can often be alleviated by aspirin or other everyday medication, an ice pack or heating pad, by elevating the feet of your bed, or by stretching and even yoga. If these home remedies don't help, this often means that your back pain is more serious than just overworked muscles.
Don't assume that a curve in the back is just old age or your natural figure; if you notice any natural deformity in the back area, it's good to have this evaluated by a doctor. It may mean a curvature of the spine or another condition that should be treated medically before it gets worse and interferes with everyday activities and movement.