Acute low back pain is considered to be a common health problem for a lot of people all over the world. People need to know that there are many causes that may lead to low back pain and that such pain can be mild, moderate or severe. However, in the majority of cases low back pain is treatable and sometimes even completely eliminated.
What is Acute Low Back Pain?
According to experts, a person who is diagnosed with acute low back pain will experience the pain for a period no longer than six weeks. The pain that people face with is not always the same and it can be aching, burning, stabbing, sharp or dull and even vague. In case of low back pain a person will complain about pain in one or both buttocks and it is not uncommon for the pain to be felt even in the thigh and hip area.
According to certain data, over 80% of all people experience low back pain at least once during their lives. Due to this fact a lot of people believe that low back pain is a natural and normal part of the human life.
Every person wonders how long he or she will experience the pain when it occurs. People need to know that firstly the actual cause needs to be determined in order for them to understand how long the pain will last. The good thing is that pain will most likely subside on its own, spontaneously within a few weeks. In some cases the healing time of the irritated tissue will last for two weeks but it is more common for the pain to last for up to six weeks.
It is important to mention that even when severe initial pain subsides after a couple of days it will not go away entirely and a person will still suffer from moderate or mild symptoms for weeks to come.
The bad news is that according to certain data 30% of all people who suffer from low back pain will suffer from recurrent pain or even develop persistent pain in future.
Another thing people wonder about when they end up suffering from low back pain is whether the pain is dangerous. According to doctors, the pain is relative and the symptoms are usually benign and self limited. The truth is that even a ruptured disc can heal on its own without surgery. It is not common for the cause of the pain to be some serious process such as a fracture, infection or cancer. These causes are more common in people older than 50 years of age.
What Causes Low Back Pain?
People need to know that it is not that easy for the actual cause of acute low back pain to be discovered. The main reason why that is so, is because there are a lot of possible triggers of pain such as damaged, inflamed or injured muscles, soft connective tissue, ligaments, joint capsules, cartilage and even blood vessels. All of the mentioned tissues can be sprained, strained, stretched and pulled. In addition, tears are also known to cause severe pain as well.
Even though low back pain frequently occurs as a result of sport injuries and accidents, such pain can additionally be induced by the simplest of movements. For instance, a person may experience low back pain when he or she tries to pick up a pencil from the floor.
Apart from these causes, low back pain is also known to be caused or be worsened by obesity, poor posture, arthritis and psychological stress.
Certain diseases like kidney stones, kidney infections, blood clots and even bone loss are known to cause acute low back pain as well.
How Should Acute Low Back Pain be Managed?
There are many available treatments for acute low back pain. One of the possible ways to treat the problem is to remain active as much as it is tolerable. Even though almost all people think that the best treatment option is to stay in bed and avoid all activities this is not true. Being active is good because that way a person will maintain proper blood supply to the affected area and subsequently reduce inflammation and muscular tension. However, patients are advised to avoid certain uncontrolled activities such as weight lifting or competitive sports until the pain subsides.
Stretching exercises can be performed as well and patients should not avoid them completely.
When the pain first occurs, applying cold or hot compresses to the painful spot is known to provide instant relief. However, this is only a temporary solution and will not speed long term process of recovery.
Medications are also a possibility but patients should not take any without talking to the doctor first.
In more severe cases of acute low back pain various ways of physical therapy are an option.