Sharp Lower Back
When dealing with sharp lower back pain, it is important to
approach this cautiously. Unlikely chronic back pain, sharp back pains typically have a sudden onset after an
accident, heavy lifting, or another type of recent injury.
Whenever there is a severe lower back injury, it is important to first get it checked out by a doctor. While the
majority of chronic pains go undiagnosed, about 1/2 of sharp lower back pain cases end up with a
Sharp Lower Back Pain due to Trauma
When thinking about this type of back pain, you need to consider whether the onset was gradual or not. As
mentioned above, rapid onset of pain is usually associated with trauma. Trauma-related injuries are much more
likely to medical attention, so don't be shy about visiting your doctor. And this is coming from someone who really
distrusts the doctors!
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Usually sharp pains are the result of muscle strains, contusions, or tears. These conditions are usually not
serious, but the peace of mind of getting a diagnosis can be quite helpful. Also it is important to rule out red
flag conditions such as maligancy (tumor or disease) or another serious diesease. The most important red flag
condition is known as cauda equina syndrome.
The cauda equina is a nerve structure at the bottom of the spinal cord. In the L1/L2 area, the spinal cord
splits off into many different nerve roots, the structure of which looks like thick hair. Due to this split, these
nerves are sensitive and subject to injury.
Loss of function in this area is known as cauda equina syndrome. If numbness in the groin area or a loss of
bladder and/or rectum control occurs following a spinal injury, this necessitates a trip to the emergency room.
Emergency decompression is needed in order to save the spinal root.
However, let's not get carried away. If you are reading this page odds are that you are getting a sharp pain
associated with some sort of movement, or strained a muscle after lifting something really heavy.
Gradual Onset Sharp Lower Back Pain
If you are simply prescribed a painkiller for your pain, odds are the underlying cause of your pain is either
unidentified or not being treated!
You can think of pain as a warning sign, not unlike the warning symbols that light up in your car dash when the
CPU in the car (comparable to your brain in this analogy) detects that something is wrong with your car (or your
body in the analogy). You could simply ignore the light by turning it off (like taking a painkiller), however, you
do this at your own risk. We all know if that you fail to get your car serviced it will eventually break down in
It's important to address the cause of your initial back injury, as many resources have reported if the same
part of your back gets injured several times within a 1 year period, you are very likely to develop a chronic pain
condition, and trust me, that's not something you want!
This happens through a process called centralization. In essence, your brain gets fed up with
you hurting yourself all the time, so it builds more pain sensors and every time you move that part of your back,
you experience pain. If you want to achieve lasting relief from sharp lower back pain, you have to address the
underlying cause of your problem. such as a muscle imbalance, poor motor control, or (rarely) malignancy.
And that is the bottom line on sharp lower back pains. Always check with your doctor with these types of pains,
but if he says its nothing to worry about, take care to address the underlying cause so that it doesn't happen
again. Recurrent injuries are the first step to developing chronic pain!
Is your back
pain, neck pain, or sciatica running your
If you answer yes to the above question, then I strongly
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