Common backache symptoms include persistent and aching stiffness; sharp pain in the neck, low back, or upper back; chronic pain after sitting for extending periods; radiating back pain that extends into the calves or toes; and low back spasms. Many backaches can improve on their own with a little rest and cold therapy. However, if backache symptoms do not improve with self-care, physical therapy may be able to help. Physical therapy for backaches will address the symptoms (the pain) and the cause (e.g., poor posture, injury, accident, or muscle strain). Physical therapy treatment may include postural re-education and specific exercises to stretch and strengthen back, core, and shoulder muscles. A physical therapist also may perform an ergonomic assessment to determine if certain work conditions (e.g., an office chair or workstation) might be contributing to the pain. In these cases, a physical therapist will provide recommendations for modifications to promote optimal body positioning and prevent future problems. In some cases a backache could indicate a serious issue. Individuals should seek medical attention immediately if the backache is accompanied by fever or numbness, tingling, or weakness in the extremities; the pain extends down the leg; or the pain increases when bending over or coughing.