As with most medical conditions, sudden lower back pain can manifest itself with little to no warning. Whether it’s bending over to pick up an object, getting up from a chair or without any apparent cause at all, sudden lower back pain is a common problem felt by millions of people around the world. The causes of sudden lower back pain number in the hundreds if not more, but they can be generally divided into two categories, those that are temporary conditions and those that require medical treatment.
Temporary conditions of sudden lower back pain are usually founded in muscle spasms, injury to the muscle groups around the lower back or their overuse through exercise or most often when doing physical tasks that the body is not conditioned for. These temporary conditions generally require rest and pain medication such as aspirin or topical treatments to loosen and relax the muscles so they can heal properly. At some point, virtually everyone will experience this type of lower back pain.
Recognizing the difference between the temporary conditions and those that need medical treatment generally lies in how long the pain lasts. Sudden lower back pain that does not recede with time can have many different causes, here area few examples of some of the more common causes of sudden lower back pain.
Fractures are one of the more common lower back problems. Often they can be misdiagnosed by those suffering from sudden lower back pain as a muscle injury depending on the location of the fracture. The symptoms generally associated with fractures are sudden lower back pain when moving in a certain position without the normal fading of pain that muscle injuries have.
Pressure on the nerves in the spinal cord affect the nerve endings and deliver constant pain if left untreated. The most common forms of this type of pressure are;
Herniated Disc: These discs in the lower back can be injured by repeated vibration, sports injury or a sudden, heavy strain that causes the disc to expand and put pressure on the nerve endings.
Osteoarthritis: Generally found in older patients where the damage caused by osteoarthritis affects the small joints in the spine. Sometimes osteoarthritis can be located in the hips causing a person to walk incorrectly or limp, causing sudden lower back pain.
Spondylolisthesis: This is a defect where a vertebra in the back slides over another causing pain.
Spinal stenosis: This is another condition usually affecting the elderly where the spinal canal actually narrows, causing lower back pain. Other specific spinal conditions such as scoliosis and kyphosis cause an unnatural curvature in the spine.
These are but a few examples of the different types of sudden lower back pain. Understanding the difference between the muscle type injuries which are temporary from those that need medical treatment is very important as any substantial delay in seeking medical attention can have a continuing detrimental effect. If you suspect that your sudden lower back pain is not a temporary condition, then seeking treatment is highly advisable.