Acute or sudden onset back pain can be due to a number of causes. It’s easier than you think to sprain or strain the tendons, muscles and ligaments that support the spine, especially if we are out of shape. While sports injuries are common, sudden onset back pain may also be a result of just bending over to pick something up off the floor.

Weakened muscles may suddenly go into spasm from performing the simplest movements. If you have a sedentary lifestyle or are carrying a few extra pounds, that can weaken the structure supporting the back, which can lead to acute back pain. If your spinal discs, ligaments and muscles are chronically unbalanced, it can lead to a misalignment in your spine and create the perfect conditions for sudden onset back pain.

Another common cause of acute back pain is a vertebral compression fracture due to osteoporosis. This type of fracture can happen at any time, even simply from sneezing, coughing, or rolling over in bed, if the osteoporosis is sufficiently advanced. Acute back pain usually follows a vertebral compression fracture. This pain usually lasts for four to six weeks, when it becomes a more chronic type of aching pain.

Chiropractic therapy has been proven to be an effective tool in treating and reducing acute back pain, and does so in a safe and cost-effective manner. Conventional medical treatment has not been as successful; in fact, federal research agencies recommended that adults with acute lower back pain first seek treatment using spinal manipulation, as it is safe, effective and requires no drugs.

A study published in “The Spine Journal” in December, 2010, found that patients had positive results after treatment with chiropractic manipulation, as opposed to no improvement in the control group treated with pain medication and physical therapy. The researchers reported that after 16 weeks, “78% of patients in the group were still taking narcotic analgesic medications either on a daily basis or as needed. The chiropractic manipulative therapy is associated with significantly greater improvement in condition-specific functioning.”

So if you find yourself suffering from sudden onset back pain, consult your chiropractor, who can determine the cause of your pain and provide safe, effective tretment, so it doesn’t become chronic.


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