Low back pain – acute

Low back pain refers to pain that you feel in your lower back. You may also have back stiffness, decreased movement of the lower back, and difficulty standing straight.

Acute back pain can last for a few days to a few weeks.

Most people have at least one backache in their life. Although this pain or discomfort can happen anywhere in your back, the most common area affected is your lower back. This is because the lower back supports most of your body’s weight.

Low back pain is the number two reason that Americans see their health care provider. It is second only to colds and flu.

You will usually first feel back pain just after you lift a heavy object, move suddenly, sit in one position for a long time, or have an injury or accident.

Acute low back pain is most often caused by a sudden injury to the muscles and ligaments supporting the back. The pain may be caused by muscle spasms or a strain or tear in the muscles and ligaments.

Causes of sudden low back pain include:

Compression fractures to the spine from osteoporosis
Cancer involving the spine
Fracture of the spinal cord
Muscle spasm (very tense muscles)
Ruptured or herniated disk
Spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal)
Spine curvatures (like scoliosis or kyphosis), which may be inherited and seen in children or teens
Strain or tears to the muscles or ligaments supporting the back
Low back pain may also be due to:

An abdominal aortic aneurysm that is leaking
Arthritis conditions, such as osteoarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis
Infection of the spine (osteomyelitis, diskitis, abscess)
Kidney infection or kidney stones
Problems related to pregnancy
Medical conditions that affect the female reproductive organs, including endometriosis, ovarian cysts, ovarian cancer, or uterine fibroids
 Pain around the back of your pelvis, or sacroiliac (SI) joint.