Definition: Acute Back Pain

Acute Back Pain is the term given to back pain that has a short duration and lasts for less than three months. The pain may be mild or severe.

Acute back pain may have a sudden onset, perhaps as the result of illness, accident or injury. For these reasons it is wise to have a severe condition checked out with your doctor, in order to obtain a good diagnosis of the problem.

However, this type of pain may have no obvious organic cause, in which case it is called simple back pain, or non-specific back pain. Simple back pain often tends to arise from the way we mis-use our bodies during our activities, putting strain on our muscles, connective tissues, nerves and the intricate structure of the spinal column.

If no medical intervention is required, the pain may go away on its own but if the conditions of mis-use that led to the back pain remain unaltered, the pain may continue for longer than three months without easing, at which point it is considered to be chronic back pain. It has been shown, in the ATEAM Research Trial, that the Alexander Technique is particularly helpful for people to learn, to help themselves reduce chronic and recurrent back pain.

As NHS Direct indicates, the Alexander Technique offers a good method to use for both preventing and treating back pain - although to be correct, the Alexander Technique is not a treatment as such, but a learning process. An Alexander teacher will not offer you a medical diagnosis, unless also trained as a GP.

In Alexander Technique lessons, you will learn to develop a tool that you can use to improve the way you use your body, reduce and manage back pain and help speed up the process of recovery - plus you can learn to prevent back pain developing in the first place and help to avoid it recurring in the future.

You can see an illustration of the sort of mis-use which can contribute to back pain in my Blog.

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