Acute Low Back Pain

16/03/2022

Getting sharp pain in your low back when you get up from sitting that eases within a few paces of walking?

Sometimes the same pain can strike when turning over in bed one way-but not the other!

This type of pain from transition movement can be sharp, severe and localised to the low back. It can come on out of the blue, maybe when you get up out of bed in the morning or cause pain when you get out of a car. Often the pain can go away when you get moving, but can come back later.

It’s unusual to get sciatica or pins and needles with this type of injury but it can sometimes happen.

Our Osteopaths provide treatment for this type of back pain at the Trinity Practice. Although there are many types of low back pain that can cause this type of pain the most common cause we see is from the facet joint. Other causes can be spinal ligament or disc injury. But our diagnostic process will tell us what the cause of your low back pain is.

Facet joints are small joints between each vertebra in your spine. There is one on each side, about the size of your little finger nail.

While most joints in the body have two surfaces that touch, the facet joints have a little gap between them. It is when this gap narrows and the surfaces touch that it can cause pain. Because these joints have a lot of nerves around them the pain can be severe. Thankfully this does not necessarily mean badly damaged!

If you’re lucky enough to be young and healthy this type of back pain will probably sort itself out within 48 hours, perhaps leaving five days worth of lumbar stiffness that goes away by applying heat and exercise.

If you’ve seen a little more of life there can be some wear and tear in these joints. That’s not unusual, but it does slow down the healing process. Sometimes without treatment the pain can last for weeks.

If I had this problem and it didn’t get significantly (80%) better after 48 hours I would get help from an Osteopath. They would run through the diagnostic tests, checking movement, reflexes and power and sensation in my legs to ensure that the nerves are not irritated.

Once the diagnosis is confirmed treatment can consist of heat, movement, rehab exercises, manipulation and acupuncture. But that would all be discussed and agreed with you. And we would have a good idea of your speed of recovery.

Life is too precious to let back pain hold you back!

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