Acute back pain management starts with identifying the cause of the pain. The various treatment options available will not do much if the person suffering from the pain does not treat the underlying cause, and failure to treat that cause can turn acute pain into chronic pain that will persist even after an injury has healed. The most common acute back pain management technique is the RICE technique. RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. These steps are intended to reduce pain and swelling, and promote quick healing to the affected area.
The causes of acute back pain can vary significantly. A short twinge of pain from turning too quickly, for example, may be considered acute pain and it may disappear on its own with no treatment at all. A muscle strain in the lower back can also lead to acute back pain that can last for several days or weeks. In this case, acute back pain management starts with the RICE treatment, and the person suffering from the injury should avoid intense physical activity until the pain dissipates. Eventually, after some healing has occurred, light stretching exercises should be done to help restore mobility to the muscles.
Exercising the core muscles of the body can be a form of acute back pain management. A strong set of core muscles will support the spine more efficiently, which reduces the likelihood of recurring pain. Stronger muscles are also less prone to injury, which means a person is less likely to experience acute back pain at all. Such pain can occur after sitting for long hours or standing for long hours, so stretching and regular movement can help alleviate this discomfort in many instances. While painkilling medications can be used as well, this is considered a temporary fix that will not address the underlying cause of the pain.
Acute back pain management may also require a trip to a doctor to ensure that it does not worsen and turn into chronic pain. Injuries to the spine, such as herniated discs or fractures, can lead to more serious issues that may need to be addressed with more aggressive medical treatments or even surgery. If the acute pain lasts more than a few days or weeks, it is a good idea to visit a doctor who can develop a more aggressive treatment plan. Acute pain rarely lasts more than six months; if the pain the patient is suffering from continues beyond that, it may be considered chronic pain and medical attention may be necessary.