The most common cause of lower back lumbar pain, or backache is usually a muscle strain or other soft tissue damage. This type of condition is usually not serious but can be uncomfortable, or severely painful and debilitating. Lower back pain from a muscle strain will usually get better within a few days to few weeks of simple care. Misalignment of a lumbar vertebrae in the spine is also common.
Low back pain can be either acute, subacute or chronic in duration. Doctors usually refer to back pain as acute if it has been present for less than six weeks and chronic if it lasts for a longer than six weeks.
Acute Back Pain
Acute is a word used to describe a short-term injury or illness that comes and goes. Acute conditions tend to come on suddenly and often have a sharp pain that can be quite intense and painful. The good news is that most people with acute injuries tend to gain relief within 4 to 6 weeks of home treatment. The bad news is that acute injuries in the back or neck can be the precursor to chronic pain for some people.
Chronic Back Pain
Back pain that consistently nags you, and last for six weeks or more with no significant improvement is considered chronic. Chronic pain is sometimes referred to as persistent pain. Chronic back pain can remain with you for a long time and can, in some cases, force you to alter your lifestyle significantly.
Long-lasting chronic pain not only makes you tired, irritable, and less productive and active, but it can trigger other problems. People suffering with back pain will often change their body position to compensate or find relief from their discomfort. For instance, a person may walk with a limp or sit differently when experiencing pain or discomfort. In these situations, pain can develop in other areas of the body, thus causing more problems. Pain or discomfort that is consistent can have a devastating psychological effect on a person which then affects most major life areas. Pain can also cause biochemical changes in your body that tend to keep the pain going. Without specialized treatment and self-care, chronic pain syndrome can become disabling. Your doctor may refer you to expert such as rehabilitation, neurology, orthopedics who focus on people with chronic back pain.
Back pain or discomfort can take on a wide variety of characteristics:
The pain or discomfort can be constant or intermittent or only occur with certain positions or activities.
It can remain in one spot, an area or radiate to other areas of the back, neck, arms, hands or leg and foot.
The pain can be a dull ache, sharp, piercing or even a burning sensation.
It can also include symptoms as weakness, numbness or tingling.