How do I Relieve Acute Back Pain?

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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 15 February 2020
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Acute back pain can be sharp or dull and it's usually in the lower back. The cause of acute pain in the back isn't always known, but it could be caused by an injury such as muscle strain. Whereas chronic back pain lasts more than three months, acute pain usually doesn't last longer than two weeks to two months. There are different ways to relieve acute back pain that may reduce its occurrence and duration.

Sometimes, gentle stretching can help ease acute back pain. It's important to move the back very gently and never twist it harshly, as this could cause damage to discs or place more pressure on already strained back muscles. Gentle massage may also help relieve back pain.

If you think your acute back pain is caused by repetitive movements, try to find other ways of moving to relieve the pressure on your back. Bending with the knees rather than the back is extremely important when lifting anything. Not doing so strains muscles and is a common cause of lower back pain.


A comfortable bed may be a big help in relieving back pain as well as help prevent spinal injury. If buying a better mattress is out of the question, try flipping your mattress over and placing the head at the foot to give you an opposite wear pattern. This can be done every few months to give your mattress equal wear and it may help mattresses last longer as well. A soft foam mattress topper that you can purchase fairly inexpensively can help add extra cushioning and support for your back and this may help reduce or relieve acute back pain.

Exercise is often recommended as a way of relieving back pain. Gentle exercises that strengthen rather than stress the back are important. Swimming can be a good exercise to help relieve acute back pain as the water suspends the body rather than pressures muscles. Maintaining a healthy body weight is another way to help relieve pressure on the back that could lead to pain.

If nothing seems to help relieve acute back pain within a few weeks or months, you should see a doctor to rule out serious back problems. A doctor may prescribe medication and as a last resort surgery may be an option. Massage therapy could be another option for relieving back pain.



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