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Acute low back Singapore

What is acute low back pain?

Acute low back pain or pain in the lumbar spine is a frequently occurring condition across the population and most of us would get some form of back pain at least once in our lifetime. The cause of low back pain is still a huge debate amongst clinicians nowadays and despite our medical advancements, there does not seem to be a good explanation for why an individual will get back pain or what structures are the actual cause of low back pain.

Seems pretty bleak right? Here’s the good news…most lower back pains would resolve on their own with minimal treatment and can be managed conservatively without any invasive treatment. However, there are instances where lower back pain is accompanied by other symptoms such as a loss of sensation or an unsteady gait.

Low back pain assessment

Serious low back pain

Can acute lower back pain be serious?

In most cases of acute lower back pain, it usually is not serious or life-threatening. However this does not exclude the presence of the high pain levels and mobility difficulties limited by this pain. In cases where pain levels are high, over the counter pain relieving medications can be considered. A visit to the Physiotherapist to help with pain management is also advised.

What causes low back pain

Prevent acute low back pains?

Due to the lack of hard evidence of the causes of low back pain, it is impossible to make an evidence-based recommendation on what you should or should not be doing. However, here are some tips which you might consider:

  • Having a good work setup or good working ergonomics
  • Keeping lower limbs strong
  • Maintain a good exercise regime
  • Getting enough sleep and recovery
Straight leg raise assessment for low back pain

Diagnosis and management of acute low back

It is usually diagnosed through a physical examination carried out by a Doctor or Physiotherapist. Depending on the nature of your back pain and associated symptoms, the medical specialist might order some scans to help determine if there is a specific cause for your pain. In most cases however, a scan is not needed and a Physiotherapist will be able to manage your condition safely and effectively. Only in rare and more severe cases would a surgical intervention be warranted.

When should I go to the hospital for my lower back pain?

Signs and symptoms of a lower back pain may include:

  • Painful unremitting back pain not subsiding with over the counter pain medications
  • Loss of balance/unsteady gait
  • Loss of sensation in the lower limbs
  • Significant loss of muscle strength in the lower limbs
  • Urinary incontinence – unable to control urination
  • Loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss over the past month
  • Night pain

Treatment for low back pain

Your Physiotherapist will carry out an assessment of the lower back region as well as your lower limbs. This would include an assessment of the range of movements in your lower back and a neurological examination of your lower limbs to rule out any nerve involvement. The role of the Physiotherapist is to identify problem areas in the lower back so that treatment can be targeted and effective.

Treatment for low back pain may include, but not limited to:

  • Advise and education pertaining to your condition
  • Soft tissue therapy to reduce tightness around your low back muscles 
  • Heat therapy for low back pain management
  • Electrotherapy
  • Dry needling to reduce low back pain 
  • Taping to offload lower back muscles
  • Light and gradual movement to help you regain confidence to move
  • A set of home exercises for your low back pain
  • Returning to sport training when you are ready 
  • Pilates for acute low back pain

People also asked this about low back pain

What causes lower back pain in females?

Low back in females can be caused by a myraid of reasons. Kidney problems, menstrual pain, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, fibroids, pregnancy-related back pain, ovarian cysts, and adenomyosis may be causes of low back pain in females. 

It is the role of the Physiotherapist to clarify if the source of your low back pain is of a musculoskeletal origin. 

Lower back pain when bending. Why?

Bending is safe! Well, at least in most cases. In some types of low back pain, there might be increased pain in doing so. 

Low back pain when bending may be due to either tight muscles in the low back or could be releated to pain of a discogenic origin. 

It is the role of the Physiotherapist to clarify if the source of your low back pain.