Most commonly, mechanical issues and soft-tissue injuries are the cause of lower back pain. These injuries can include damage to the intervertebral discs, compression of nerve roots, and improper movement of the spinal joints. The single most common cause of lower backache is a torn or pulled muscle and/or ligament.
Typically, lower backache originating in your spine will look a little different than pain from a muscle. You may have a more burning or electric type of ache, or your pain may be constant. With spinal-issue pain, you may also have pain that “shoots” down your leg or into your glutes.
Different types of backache
It may be described in a number of ways, such as sharp or dull, comes and goes, constant, or throbbing. A muscle strain is a common cause of axial back pain as are facet joints and annular tears in discs. Related lower backache. Often characterized as dull and achy, referred pain tends to move around and vary in intensity. Best backache solution
Acute backache: Short-term pain
If your back lower backache is acute, it probably means your lower backache came along suddenly. Things like stress, strenuous exercise, an awkward movement, or lifting something wrong can all contribute to acute lower backache.
Most lower backache is diagnosed as acute. With acute lower backache, the ache lasts no longer than six weeks. And in most cases, the underlying cause of the ache doesn’t pose a serious or long-term problem. Best backache solution
Chronic backache: Long-term pain
Chronic backaches, on the other hand, can be serious. Generally, Chronic ache is serious because the symptoms are strong enough to impact your health, mobility, and quality of life for an extended period of time.
While chronic lower backache can come on suddenly, it usually builds gradually and lasts more than six weeks. Chronic lower backache can also be recurrent, meaning it’ll go away at times but regularly come back.
What causes chronic back pain?
Chronic pain can be triggered by a new injury, but underlying conditions are usually the real cause. Muscle deconditioning (where your back lacks strength and stability) is one of the most common contributors.
Symptoms of backache
Symptom-wise, acute aches, and chronic aches can be very similar. Backache symptoms can include:
- Shooting, burning or aching ache that doesn’t go away or returns after using home remedies like icing or over-the-counter medications, or massage or physical therapies
- Regular tightness or stiffness, especially after laying, sitting or standing for long periods
- Trouble sleeping
- Lower extremity weakness (numbness or tingling in one or both legs)
The difference between acute and chronic back pain?
It can be hard to tell the difference between an acute backache and chronic back pain, but the timeframe is the biggest indicator. Best backache solution
The most common symptom of acute backaches is shooting, burning, or aching that comes on suddenly. With a little time and at-home remedies such as over-the-counter bach ache relief medications, cold and heat therapy, acute ache can start going away quickly – as soon as two weeks.
But with chronic backache, your symptoms can come on quickly or build over time, but they last for more than six weeks or are recurrent.
When should you seek treatment for acute or chronic back pain?
Whether you think your backache is acute or chronic, anytime you’re experiencing an ache that lasts longer than two weeks without any improvement in symptoms, we strongly suggest you get the care you need.
If you think you need care right away, you can also go to your nearest orthopedic urgent care location. Best backache solution.
If the ache is new or you know you’ve tweaked something, a great place to start is to find a physical therapy location and make an appointment. Our physical therapists will tailor strengthening and mobility exercises to your unique needs, and you can plan on about six visits.
That said, the acute backache will usually heal itself over a few weeks. But chronic ache usually doesn’t get better without medical intervention. Why? While home remedies and short-term backache treatments are helpful, they provide temporary relief and don’t address those underlying causes of chronic aches. Best backache solution
So, if you’re regularly experiencing signs of chronic backache, don’t ignore it. While chronic ache is long-lasting, it doesn’t have to be permanent – and you probably don’t need surgery. This is where the Physicians Neck & Back Centre (PNBC) spinal strengthening program can help.
How PNBC helps you heal your back pain
What many people don’t realize about chronic back pain is that it can often be solved without surgery. Yes, sometimes surgery is the suggestion – but only after non-surgical options have stopped working.
At PNBC our spine strengthening program focuses on active physical therapy – which focuses on movement-based activities. This is a proven method for healing chronic back pain – just ask any of the 200,000-plus patients we’ve worked with over the past 30 years.
Through this program, you’ll do an intake with a doctor or physical therapist who specializes in spine care and chronic pain. They’ll work with you to determine the best pain treatment plan. Then you’ll work one-on-one with a physical therapist.
Most programs are six to 12 weeks long, and your therapy happens at one of our facilities that features state-of-the-art medical exercise equipment. As part of your care, you’ll learn about what chronic pain is and how the brain processes it.Best backache solution
You’ll also focus on body mechanics such as proper lifting, standing, and sleeping – all the things that can contribute to back pain but you probably don’t think about. And as you progress, you’ll learn how to continually improve and maintain your back strength on your own – so you can keep back pain at bay long-term. Best backache solution