Can Your Low Back Pain Go Away Without Treatment?

You’ve got plenty of company if you’re dealing with the nuisance of low back pain. Back pain is a relatively common ailment, affecting about 15% of people at one time. As much as 80% of adults suffer from low back pain at least once in their lives.

While 90% of low back pain episodes improve without surgery, it could take up to six weeks for your pain to subside. The discomfort of any individual episode can cause sensations ranging from a nagging ache to an excruciating burn. The pain can occur continuously or intermittently. Unfortunately, there’s no way to determine the exact cause of your pain and if you require treatment without a medical examination.

The staff of orthopaedic surgeons at Orthopaedic Associates in Albany, Georgia, provides comprehensive orthopaedic services for a wide range of back pain. After diagnosing the source of your low back pain, your physician advises appropriate next steps based on your goals and overall health. 

Your physician works with you to determine the treatment most appropriate for the type and source of your discomfort. Supporting you through the process of chronic pain management and conservative treatment to pulling the trigger for spine surgery, if necessary, is their number one priority. 

Causes of low back pain

The most common causes of low back pain include injuries or irritation to the muscles, ligaments, discs, or joints in your spine. These typically occur from sprains, strains, and overuse. 

This type of sudden low back pain often occurs from overstretching muscles and ligaments during athletic activities, overexertion, or lifting heavy objects. Low back pain can also result from mechanical issues such as prolonged repetitive movements or sitting or standing in unnatural positions for extended periods. This type of low back pain is called acute low back pain, which is defined as pain that lasts for up to six weeks.

Ongoing low back pain that continues for 12 weeks or longer is considered chronic pain. In some cases, it can start as acute low back pain and continue even after the initial source of acute pain has healed. 

Chronic low back pain can also occur as a result of aging and disease. The discomfort that accompanies conditions such as osteoporosis, arthritis or other degenerative diseases typically remains constant and may worsen without treatment. Skeletal irregularities like scoliosis can also cause low back pain that doesn’t heal on its own.

Without appropriate treatment or surgical intervention, chronic low back pain can last indefinitely. 

Getting relief

Acute low back pain can interfere with your ability to handle daily activities and work. While the pain may resolve without treatment, the physicians at Orthopaedic Associates can guide you in reducing and managing your pain so you can function more normally while you heal. 

Initially, you may benefit from a day or two of rest at home after you notice the first signs of low back pain, as long as your pain isn’t associated with a potential medical emergency. At-home treatments like ice or heat, over-the-counter pain relievers, and gentle stretching can help minimize pain symptoms, though they won’t heal the cause.

Being more comfortable allows you to move more freely. Movement helps reduce pain and stiffness. It also increases blood flow that promotes healing at the site of the injury or irritation. A reduction in pain also makes it easier to participate in physical therapy or exercise-based programs that can expedite healing and strengthen your lower back against future injuries.

If your pain is intense or unbearable, you may benefit from prescription pain medication or interventional pain techniques like steroid injections that can help you feel more comfortable until healing begins. These options may also be appropriate for chronic low back pain that’s not treatable with surgery.

When to seek immediate care

While 90% of people with low back pain don’t have a serious condition, you can benefit from seeking medical advice about any type of ongoing discomfort. A visit to Orthopaedic Associates can identify the source of your pain, which can lead to the diagnosis of underlying problems that you may not know exist.

Don’t delay a medical examination if you have low back pain associated with any of the following conditions that could indicate a medical emergency: 

Don’t suffer another day with low back pain. Find out how to get relief and if your condition requires treatment. Schedule online or call Orthopaedic Associates for an appointment today. 

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