Acute Back PainThis can occur anywhere in the spine but is commonly localised to the neck or lower back. It generally follows a typical course and tends to resolve naturally within the first three months. It tends to vary in its severity, which can be severe initially and then gradually improves.
It can, as mentioned above, be localised to the back or neck but can also refer into the legs and/or arms with a feeling of tingling/numbness associated with an aching or sharp pain into the arms or legs.
Assessment includes an appropriate history and examination. X-rays are not usually suggested unless there are worrying features associated with the history to rule out a fracture or other potentially serious conditions. An MRI scan may be advised if there is associated nerve pain or injury.
Treatment for acute pain normally involves activity modification, physical therapy (osteopathy/chiropractic or physical therapy) and/or medication from the general practitioner or pharmacy. The decision on best line of treatment will be discussed and tailored to your symptoms. Acute symptoms are normally self-limiting and therefore do not require surgical intervention unless there is a neurological injury such as loss of bowel/bladder function or deteriorating nerve/spinal cord function.
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