Acute low back pain

Acute low back pain (LBP) is defined as low back pain present for up to six weeks. It may be experienced as aching, burning, stabbing, sharp or dull, well-defined, or vague. The intensity may range from mild to severe and may fluctuate. The pain may radiate into one or both buttocks or even to the thigh and the ankle

Causes

There are numerous factors leading to low back pain which includes intervertebral disc, muscles, soft connective tissue, ligaments, joint capsules and cartilage. These tissues may be pulled, strained, stretched or strained. Additionally, annular tears (small tears that occur in the outer layer of the intervertebral disc) can initiate severe pain. Injury to this structures leads to a cascade of events occurs which contributes to the pain. Numerous chemical substances are released in response to tissue irritation. These substances stimulate the surrounding pain-sensitive nerve fibres, resulting in the sensation of pain. Some of these chemicals trigger the process of inflammation or swelling, which also contributes to pain. 

Common Symptoms

Acute low back pain may lead to severe pain in the low back that starts after an activity such as lifting heavy weight, sudden jerky movements or a fall. The patients with acute low back pain complain of pain in low back radiating to buttocks or thigh, difficulty in moving which might be severe enough to prevent activities like standing or walking. Patients with prolapsed disc may be bent on one side to reduce the pain. Patient having the infection will have guarded stance with the history of fever,weight loss etc.

 

Treatment

Treatments for acute back pain can vary greatly depending on the type and source of the pain. If a treatable source of the pain is found, then the underlying process can be addressed.
Conservative: When the underlying cause is either not specifically identifiable or not amenable to treatment, then the symptoms are treated. The goals of the treatment are to reduce pain, improve the quality of life and increase function. There are several different general categories of treatment that are usually recommended for acute back pain. These categories include physical therapy, medications, coping skills, procedures and alternative medicine treatments. A small period of rest may be required to reduce the acute inflammatory process. The treating physician will tailor a program involving a combination of these options to address the patient's needs. Physical therapy includes patient education, and patient training in a variety of stretching and strengthening exercises, manual therapies, and modalities (ice, heat, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), ultrasound, etc.).
Surgical: If there is a definitive organic cause of pain such as prolapsed intervertebral disc, lumbar canal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, infection or fracture of the vertebrae then the pathology needs to be addressed surgically.

How to prevent acute low back pain
We at Shanta spine institute believes in prevention is better than cure, so we keep our main emphasis on prevention of the disease more than the treatment. The main cause of acute low back pain unhealthy lifestyle. So we aim to prevent the disease by certain lifestyle modifications which had to be followed regularly. This includes daily 1 hour of exercise, healthy diet which includes lots of fruits and salads, 4-5 litres of water daily and to maintain weight which is normal according to your height and age. The exercise program like swimming, yoga, walking jogging etc helps to develop core strength and allows us to maintain strength and flexibility of the spine.

 

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