Low back pain refers to pain that you feel in your lower back. You may also have back stiffness, decreased movement of the lower back, and difficulty standing straight.
Back pain is one of the most common medical problems, affecting 8 out of 10 people at some point during their lives. Back pain can range from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp pain. Acute back pain comes on suddenly and usually lasts from a few days to a few weeks. Back pain is called chronic if it lasts for more than three months.
Most back pain goes away on its own, though it may take awhile. Taking over-the-counter pain relievers and resting can help. However, staying in bed for more than 1 or 2 days can make it worse.
If your back pain is severe or doesn’t improve after three days, you should call your health care provider. You should also get medical attention if you have back pain following an injury.
Causes of sudden low back pain include:
- Compression fracturesto the spine from osteoporosis
- Cancer involving the spine
- Fracture of the spinal cord
- Muscle spasm (very tense muscles)
- Ruptured or herniated disk
- Spinal stenosis(narrowing of the spinal canal)
- Spine curvatures (like scoliosis or kyphosis), which may be inherited and seen in children or teens
- Strain or tears to the muscles or ligaments supporting the back
How is Back Pain Treated?
Your back pain treatment will depend on the cause of your back pain, as different treatments target different parts of the back. We may recommend any of the following treatments for back pain:
- Trigger point injections
- Epidural steroid injections
- Transforaminal injections
Spinal cord stimulation
Intrathecal baclofen pump