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  • Writer's pictureBally Lidder

Acute Low Back Pain

Low back pain is a common problem that will affect most people at some time in their lives. Acute Low Back Pain can be triggered by moving awkwardly or lifting incorrectly and is generally not caused by a serious condition. It is usually short lived and will improve within a few weeks. ‘Acute low back pain’ is the term used to describe pain that has a short history rather than chronic pain, which has usually been present for over 6 months.

Most episodes of acute low back pain will resolve spontaneously and no treatment may be necessary. The majority of acute low back pain is non-specific and serious conditions are rare. Most commonly, there is a soft tissue injury of the joints, muscles, ligaments or neural tissue and less often a disc injury The body’s response is to create muscle tension to protect your spine and produce an inflammatory response to promote healing.

 Top tips to facilitate a speedy recovery.

  • Firstly, ensure you have adequate analgesia. It is important to control the pain to allow healing and movement.

  • remain as active as possible but avoid taking up anything new or strenuous

  • use ice packs in the first 24-48 hours, usually applied for 10 minutes at a time. This will cause the blood vessels to constrict and prevent excessive bruising or swelling.

  • then alternate, or move onto using heat packs. Heat will create movement and allow fresh nutrients into the area and remove fluid build up or bruising.

When to see a physiotherapist

If your symptoms are not resolving you may need to see your physiotherapist.

Your treatment may include a combination of  manual therapy to mobilise stiff joints, massage to release muscle tension, electrotherapy or acupuncture to promote the healing process, exercises to allow normal movement, postural advice to prevent worsening of symptoms and tape to help protect and support the spine and soft tissues.

Preventing Low Back Pain

How you sit, stand, move and lift can all affect your back and cause pain if done incorrectly. You can read about correct posture here.

Exercises that may help you

Gentle range of movement exercises may help you, lay on your back with your knees bent and feet on the bed

  • keeping your feet on the bed, let your knees drop to one side as far as is comfortable, then repeat slowly to the other side

  • take one knee and hug it into your chest gently, then repeat with the other.

  • put your hand under the small of your back, rock your pelvis backwards to flatten onto your hand then release.

Remember if you are worried or your symptoms are worsening and not resolving you need to seek medical help. See your GP or Physiotherapist as soon as possible. Treatment is based on a full medical examination  and the above is a general guideline only.

Contact me for more information.


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