Back pain is usually caused due to an injury to a muscle or a ligament. Injury or trauma can also lead to Cauda equina syndrome which is an emergency condition. Sedentary lifestyle, that most of us follow, is one of the major causes of back pain. However, although a dull aching pain may be a common condition, sudden and severe pain is not.
Causes of sudden lower back pain
Sudden stretching or tearing of any back muscle can lead to sudden and severe lower back pain. Similarly, damage to the ligament can also cause back pain. This occurs due to improper sitting, bending, or lifting heavy objects. Muscle injuries
are commonly observed among athletes and dancers.
Herniated disc, or the slipped disc
, is another significant cause of sudden lower back pain. When these discs, present between vertebrae, get damaged due to injury, they bulge or rupture. This is known as herniated disc. Sudden pressure on the lower back, injury, or improper movement can result in herniated disc.
is quite a common cause of pain in the lower back. In simplest terms, it is defined as a condition caused due to defect or disorder in the vertebrae. Cervical spondylolysis and lumbar spondylolysis are more common than other types. There are several causes of spondylolysis, a congenital defect
being the foremost. It can also result from an injury, trauma or a fracture.
In most of the cases, severe lower back pain in men and women is caused due to disorders of the kidney, like kidney infection
or kidney stones
. Excruciating back pain, lower abdominal pain, disorders while urination, swelling, etc., are some of the other symptoms observed if one suffers from disorders of the kidneys.
What to Look For
Explaining the type and nature of your back pain appropriately to the doctor will help in easy and quicker diagnosis. The following are the things you should look out for and explain to your health care provider. These are red flags or the warning signs that will help detect severe underlying causes.
- Back pain that comes and goes
- Back pain that worsens with time
- Back pain that aggravates while sleeping, bending, getting up, etc.
- Sudden back pain that wakes you at night
- Back pain accompanied with other symptoms like abdominal pain, numbness, etc.
- Back pain accompanied with weight loss, fever, etc.
- Severe back pain in pregnant women
- Back pain that is not relieved with home remedies
Treatment of sudden lower back pain
It is recommended to consult the doctor immediately in case you experience sudden back pain. The doctor will prescribe respective treatment after diagnosing the cause of pain. Medication like painkillers, anti-inflammatory painkillers, muscle relaxants can help ease the pain. In certain cases, surgery may even be required to treat the underlying cause. On the other hand, in most of the cases, non-surgical treatments like acupressure or physiotherapy
can be effective. Using ice pack is an effective home remedy that can be used immediately when you experience pain. Taking complete bed rest is also essential for treating lower back pain
Prevention of sudden lower back pain
- You should take adequate amounts of rest avoid any activity that can cause stress, strain or pain in muscles.
- You should also remember that back pain can be prevented simply by adopting proper sitting and sleeping postures.
- Similarly, extra care should be taken when participating in any sports or athletics.
- You should try to reduce stress as much as possible using any of the effective methods like yoga, meditation, etc.
Following these methods can prevent back pain to a great extent. You need to follow precautionary measures even after the underlying cause is treated completely. Painkillers and any other medication should be taken only after consulting the doctor