Acute pain in the lower back pain, causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment

In some cases, the patient is very hard to straighten up into a standing position. Acute back pain can last from several days to several weeks.

pain in the back

Causes of acute pain in the lower back

Most people at least once in life experienced the pain in the back. Even if the pain or discomfort can occur at any level, most often engaged in, it is just the lumbar area. This happens because that the roast is forced to bear the weight of the entire torso and head.

Pain in the back - the second frequency is an occasion to appeal to doctors, second only to colds and flu.

As usual, first an acute pain in the lower back will appear after lifting a heavy object, the sharp movement, injury or after prolonged sitting in one position.

Acute pain in the lower back, most often, is the result of a sudden trauma to the muscles and ligaments, back pain, herniated disc of the lumbar spine. Pain, in such cases, it may be caused by muscle spasm, stretching or rupture of the muscles and ligaments.

Reasons for sharp pain in the lower back include:

  • compression fractures of the vertebrae due to injury or osteoporosis;
  • spasm (excessive muscle tension);
  • hernia;
  • sciatica;
  • stenosis (narrowing) of the spinal canal);
  • curvature of the spine (such as scoliosis or kyphosis) including diseases of the Chair-Mau;
  • stretching/tearing of muscles or ligaments of the back;
  • spondylosis;
  • spondilolistezom;
  • infection of the spine (discitis, abscess.

Acute pain in the lower back may also cause the following systemic diseases:

  • diffuse disease of the connective tissue;
  • disease ankylosing Spondylitis;
  • a malignant tumor in the spine;
  • rheumatoid arthritis.

Causes of acute pain in the lower back, which are not associated with problems in the spine or tissues of the back:

  • aneurysm of the abdominal aorta;
  • gastrointestinal disease: pancreatitis, stomach ulcer, cholecystitis;
  • the herpes zoster;
  • diseases of the pelvic organs: endometriosis, prostatitis, inflammation of the pelvic organs;
  • diseases of the retroperitoneal space: renal colic, pyelonephritis;
  • pregnancy.


Symptoms of acute pain in the lower back pain varies greatly depending on its causes. You may feel tingling, pins and needles, the nature of the pain can be different, as well as the severity of pain: from mild discomfort to pain that can hardly tolerate. In addition, pain in the lower back is often combined with pain in the legs, hip, stop. In some cases, you may experience weakness in the legs.

Here are a few examples of symptoms that are typical for a variety of diseases and conditions:

  • when intervertebral hernia: pain in the lower back, often in the legs, and pain in the legs are stronger back pain and it's getting worse in a sitting position, or after sleep. Pain in the lower back may put into the buttocks, thighs and down the legs until the soles of the feet. You can observe tingling, numbness in the feet and fingers, in rare cases - the weakness of the muscles of the foot;
  • when stretching the lower back muscles: diffuse pain in the lower back, which is not in the legs or buttocks; is amplified when driving and is weakened in a state of rest;
  • when stenosis stenosis: pain in the lower back and legs, with pain in the leg the stronger the pain in the lower back, such as spinal stenosis is often accompanied by the development of intervertebral hernia; deteriorates in the in the standing position and when walking, in resting state and during flexion of the back. Pain can be both one-way and two-way;
  • when diffuse connective tissue diseases: pain in several joints, fever, weight loss, weakness;
  • when osteomyelitis: constant pain, often of normal temperature; the clinical analysis of blood within normal limits, increase the speed of sedimentation of red blood cells (ESR) and/or levels of C-reactive protein.


At the consultation your doctor will conduct an interview with the patient by asking questions about the nature and severity of pain and other symptoms, gather information on medical history and perform a physical examination. On the basis of data from the interview and examination the doctor can determine a diagnosis, or preliminary diagnosis, which will be necessary to confirm and/or refine the use of medical tests. Medical tests can be different, starting from blood tests and ending with the research of the nerve. The most popular of the survey include:

Chest x-rays


Radiography is carried out to assess the condition of the bone tissue of the patient. The diagnosis, which can be put with the help of x-rays, include osteoporosis, pressure fractures and bony growths (osteophytes);

Magnetic tomography (MRI)

The advantage of MRI over other studies lies in the fact that by using MRI it is possible to obtain high-quality detailed images of not only bone but also soft tissues: muscles, ligaments, blood vessels, nerves, intervertebral discs, spinal cord, etc.

The most common diagnosis on the findings of the MRI:

  • intervertebral hernia;
  • narrowing (stenosis) of the stenosis;
  • spondylitis.

Another diagnosis that can be put with the help of MRI:

  • ankylosing spondylitis (type of arthritis);
  • infections of the bones;
  • cauda equina syndrome;
  • compression fractures;
  • discitis (inflammation of the intervertebral discs);
  • abscess of the spinal cord;
  • damage to the spinal cord;
  • a tumor in the spine.

Computed tomography (CT)

Computed tomography allows to obtain images of not only bone but also soft tissue, however the quality of the images significantly worse quality of the images obtained in the implementation of the MRI so CT is recommended in that case, if holding the MRI for some reason impossible or difficult, for example, in the presence of a pacemaker or execution of metal in the body.


What can be done at home in acute pain in the lower back?

  • restriction of physical activity for 1-2 days. This will help relieve symptoms and reduce inflammation in the painful area;
  • the use of a heater, or a bubble with ice to the painful area;
  • receiving medication painkillers, drugs. It is not appropriate to take these drugs in a larger amount than is stated in the instructions, take medication, must be no more than 3 days. If during this time the pain does not pass - it is necessary to visit a doctor.

During sleep it is better to take the position of the fetus, and put a pillow between your legs. If You are used to sleeping on your back, put under the knee cushion or the minimum a towel to ease the burden on his back.

If it is the cause of back pain is more serious, then the patient specific treatment is required, depending on the disease or condition, which are painful feelings, and then already cannot do without the help of professionals.

One of the most common causes of acute pain in the lower back, which needs special treatment, intervertebral hernia. Treatment of intervertebral hernia is usually conservative, only occasionally physicians resort to surgical methods. There are a large number of conservative methods of treatment of intervertebral hernia. These are just some of them:

  • Treatment treatment of. Treatment treatment involves the intake of painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Traction of the spine. It is traction that leads to complications in comparison with trakcem on the tables with vector loads or goods. Traction of the spine allows you to partially restore the nutrition and, as a result, the status of the intervertebral discs, and contributes to a reduction in the size of intervertebral hernia;
  • Therapeutic massage. Types of therapeutic massages are different. Overall, this method aims to achieve relaxation of the muscles of the back, removing the muscle spasms that often accompany pain in the lower back;
  • Physiotherapy. Physiotherapy is aimed at strengthening the small muscles of the back;
  • Hirudotherapy
    Hirudotherapy relieves inflammation in and around the hernia, reducing the painful. Is an alternative to painkillers.
  • Surgical treatment. Surgical treatment of intervertebral hernia is recommended only in patients who will not help treatment conservative means, provided that this treatment is carried out regularly and systematically, and also patients started treatment already with symptoms of significant neurological deficit: weakness in leg, stump, paralysis of the legs, numbness in the groin, the disorder controls the functions of urination and/or stool. All of the above symptoms are indications for urgent implementation of the operation on the spine.