Back pain is usually referred to as either acute or chronic. Here we touch briefly on Acute back pain. Chronic back pain is usually defined as pain which persists over twelve weeks, even after the underlying cause of previously acute low back pain has received treatment. Treatment for chronic lower back pain is outlined later.
Acute back pain (defined as lasting up to 4 weeks) is incredibly common and will affect most of us at some point in our lives. The good news is that most occurrences of low back pain or sciatica are generally not serious and these back problems will often improve on their own after a few days or weeks
This term describes the early stage of back pain or back ache, which has developed relatively quickly. Back problems often occur where there has been damage, trauma, or abnormal stresses imposed on the low back, as the result of over activity or straining causing tissue or fascia to press on the spinal nerve roots, which manifests itself as pain.
These one off occurrences are generally not serious, and treatment can be in the form of a short period of rest or abstention from the activities that have caused the discomfort, together with the use of simple pain killers such or non steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)eg Ibuprofen , or Paracetamol ( The NICE 2009 “Guidelines for the treatment of low back pain” advocate it’s use although this has been brought into question by recent Australian research , published in The Lancet, found that Paracetamol is no better than a placebo at aiding recovery from or reducing back pain or arthritis.) Where the discomfort lasts for more than a week or so, then it’s wise to seek professional advice through your doctor or GP to ensure that there are no serious underlying conditions
This should be followed by gentle exercise to mobilise the spinal joints, and could be in the form of self help such as swimming, walking, keep fit classes etc are all useful to promote muscle exercise and joint mobilsation.
Some pain sufferers may get some relief using hot or cold treatment. Taking a hot bath or applying a hot water or heat pack to the affected area may help to soothe the pain. Likewise cold in form of an ice pack or a bag of frozen peas applied can be effective especially for strains. It’s advisable though not to apply directly on to bare skin due to a possibility of ice burn.
The general rule is to keep active, and carry on as best you can with the your daily routines as the pain will permit as rest for more than a few days could actually prolong the pain and cause the joints and muscles to seize up, compounding the problem.
- Use a simple painkiller
- Try to rest your back for no more than a day or two
- Adopt a gentle exercise or manual therapy regime
- If the symptoms persist, seek professional advice
Here is a short video on How to Use LumbaCurve for Back Pain Relief