Acute Back Pain
There are two types and two levels of pain. the type and level of pain that you have or are diagnosed with is important, because it will affect your prognosis towards recovery, and the type of treatment plan prescribed for you. The levels of pain refers to how long the symptoms have begun and continued; and the types of pain refer to whether the source of the pain originates in the body, or in the nerves themselves. The levels of pain are acute back pain and chronic back pain. the two types of pain are nociceptive (somatic) and neuropathic (nerve) pain. Though time can be a relatively arbitrary number to describe a patient's condition (the injury will get better when it gets better) it can be a useful diagnostic tool for doctors to guide them towards the cause and treatment of the problem.
Acute Back Pain: Acute back pain generally refers to temporary pain that results from a temporary injury. Typically, acute back pain does not involve osteoarthritis or neuropathic pain. This type of pain is often the result of a muscle strain or other type of back injury that will be likely to heal on its own, without any kind of medication or medical intervention. The types of muscle pulls that we get from heavy lifting or sprained ankles can also occur in the muscles and soft tissues of our backs. The injuries that cause acute pain don't usually last very long or cause permanent damage. Doctors call the pain associated with these injuries acute pain, and the symptoms we experience are generally the result of the inflammatory process that occurs when we are injured. Injuries associated with inflammation due to muscle and soft tissue strains and sprains are generally somatic pain. Doctors differ in the way they categorize this type of pain, based on the time of suffering involved. Generally any pain lasting from a few days to three months is labeled as acute pain. Doctors across the board would consider joint pain or back pain lasting for longer than six months to be chronic pain.
Typically, doctor will want to be very conservative treating acute pain. Typically, acute pain will go away on its own, and most medical treatments offered for back pain due have complications and side effects associated with them. Typically, acute pain will continue until the muscle and soft tissue damage causing the inflammation or instability of the joint.
Despite the fact that acute back pain is typically temporary, and doesn't involve permanent damage or the affected joints and associated soft tissues, it can be very painful while it is occurring. Because of the severity of the pain, it is one of the main reasons while people seek emergency or urgent care. Typically, the role of an emergency care doctor, or your primary care doctor, is to assess whether the patient's back pain is a symptom of a more serious injury. If doctors due suspect that the pain is transient, they will typically send the patient home with recommendations of rest, icing, and low level anti-inflammatory medications.
Many doctors think that chronic pain often occurs as a result of acute pain not being treated more aggressively. The primary responsibility of the doctor should be to do everything possible to make sure that acute back pain does not turn into chronic back pain.