Sudden Severe Lower Back Pain: Causes and Treatment

Sudden Severe Lower Back Pain: Causes and Treatment

Sudden severe lower back pain can be a sign of something serious. It is important to get checked out by a doctor if the pain doesn’t go away within a few days. There are many possible causes of sudden severe lower back pain, and the treatment will depend on the cause. In this blog post, we will discuss the most common causes of sudden severe lower back pain, as well as some treatment options.

What Causes Sudden Severe Lower Back Pain?

Lower back pain is a common issue that many people experience. It can be mild and only last a few days, or it can be more severe and last for weeks or months. The condition can be characterized by severe pain that appears suddenly and can be accompanied by other symptoms. Other symptoms that you may experience during your sudden severe lower back pain include:

  • Difficulty standing up
  • Sitting down
  • Bending forward

Here are some common causes of sudden severe lower back pain include:

Muscle strain or sprain

If a muscle in your lower back is strained or sprained, it can cause sudden, severe pain. This usually occurs after an activity like lifting something heavy or playing sports. The muscle strain or sprain is known as a pulled muscle which can be very painful and cause a lot of discomfort.

Disc herniation

A disc herniation occurs when a gel-like substance inside the spine presses against nerves or discs, leading to pain. This typically results from activities like bending and twisting. This might feel like a sharp, stabbing pain that spreads to other parts of your body.


Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that can cause sudden severe lower back pain. It is usually found in people over the age of 50. However, in some cases, it can affect younger people. Symptoms of osteoarthritis may include pain, stiffness, swelling in the joints, and difficulty moving. It may be worse when you first wake up in the morning, after an activity or when sitting for long periods of time.

Spinal stenosis

Spinal stenosis is an abnormal narrowing of the spine that can cause pressure on the nerves and lead to pain. This is typically seen in older individuals with a history of arthritis or bone spurs. It is a kind of structural problem in the spine and can cause sudden onset of severe lower back pain.


Finally, this is one of the causes of sudden lower back pain. Spondylolisthesis is a condition where one of your vertebrae slips out of place which can cause extreme pain. It is most commonly caused by degeneration of the discs and ligaments in the spine, but can also be caused by traumatic injury.

So, these are commonly known causes of sudden severe lower back pain. Now that you are aware of the different potential causes, let’s discuss treatment options.

How To Treat Sudden Severe Lower Back Pain?

How To Treat Sudden Severe Lower Back Pain?When experiencing sudden severe lower back pain, it is important to find ways to treat the pain as quickly and effectively as possible. There are a number of treatments available, these include:


It is important to give your back a break by limiting activities and avoiding movements that cause or increase pain. For example, lying down, taking breaks throughout the day, and avoiding strenuous activities such as jogging or lifting heavy objects. This will give your back time to heal and help reduce inflammation.

Cold/Heat Therapy

Using an ice or heat pack on the affected area can be beneficial for reducing pain. Cold therapy will help reduce inflammation and swelling, while heat can improve flexibility and reduce tension in the muscles. You can do this several times a day but be sure to avoid burning or freezing your skin. For that, you should use a cloth or towel between the pack and your skin.

Pain Medication

Over-the-counter and prescription medications can provide relief from sudden severe lower back pain. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB) and naproxen sodium (Aleve), can reduce inflammation that contributes to pain. Additionally, narcotics such as codeine can provide stronger relief. In some cases, a muscle relaxant such as cyclobenzaprine may be prescribed to alleviate spasms.

Steroid Injection

This is a common treatment for sudden severe lower back pain. Steroid injections are typically given to reduce inflammation and improve mobility in the affected area. The steroid is injected directly into the affected area to reduce swelling and pain. It may also help improve the range of motion in the area, allowing you to move more freely. Steroid injections are usually done in a doctor’s office and can last up to several weeks.

These are some instant remedies that may help provide relief for sudden severe lower back pain. If you are experiencing sudden severe lower back pain, it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible. And with these types of treatment, it’s important to understand the risks and benefits of each.

How Physical Therapy Can Help You?

How Physical Therapy Can Help You?Sudden severe lower back pain can be debilitating and have a significant effect on your quality of life. Fortunately, physical therapy is considered one of the most effective treatments for this condition and can help you recover quickly and effectively.

It helps to strengthen the muscles that support your spine, improve flexibility, and reduce inflammation. This can also help you learn proper posture and body mechanics to prevent further episodes of sudden severe lower back pain. Some common techniques used in physical therapy for sudden severe lower back pain include:

Stretching exercises

Stretching can improve joint mobility, reduce muscle tension and spasms, and help to restore the normal range of motion. There are numerous stretches that can be incorporated into a physical therapy program to effectively manage your lower back pain. A few common stretches include:

  • Hamstring stretches
  • Hip flexor stretches
  • Core strengthening exercises

Strengthening exercises

Exercises that are designed to strengthen the muscles of your core and spine can help to improve posture, reduce the frequency and intensity of episodes of sudden severe lower back pain, and speed up recovery time. Common strengthening exercises used for lower back pain include:

  • Planks
  • Bridges
  • Pelvic tilts

Performing these exercises regularly can help to strengthen the muscle groups that support your spine and improve overall stability.

Manual therapy

This is a form of treatment such as massage, manipulation, and mobilization that is used to increase joint range of motion, reduce muscle tension and spasm, improve circulation, and reduce pain. Manual therapy can be beneficial for sudden severe lower back pain if it identifies a biomechanical dysfunction that is causing the pain.

Electrical stimulation

It is a type of electrical stimulation that may be used to reduce pain and swelling caused by sudden severe lower back pain. The process involves electrodes being placed on the skin and a mild electric current is sent through them. This helps relieve muscle tension, reduce inflammation, and increase blood flow to the area. It can also help reset nerves that have been damaged due to sudden pain.

Patient Education

A physical therapist is always helpful in cases of sudden severe lower back pain. They can help identify possible causes, provide relief with stretching and exercise, and create a plan of care to manage the symptoms and improve overall function. They even believe in providing education to the patient regarding their condition and treatment so that they can be better informed and empowered with knowledge.

So, you can see these are some ways through which physical therapy can help in treating this condition. If you want to learn more about this please consult with a professional today. Also, you should remember that sudden severe lower back pain can have many possible causes, so if you are experiencing it make sure to visit a doctor or healthcare provider for a diagnosis.


In conclusion, sudden severe lower back pain is often indicative of an underlying medical condition. To ensure proper diagnosis and treatment, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Depending on the severity and cause of the pain, treatments may include home remedies, medications, physical therapy, or surgery.

It is also important to practice good posture and regular exercise in order to prevent future lower back pain episodes. Additionally, proper rest and stress relief are also essential for overall health and well-being. By implementing these lifestyle modifications, individuals can reduce their chances of experiencing this pain in the future.

Physical Therapy has always been proven to help patients recover from pain. Hence, if you’re experiencing Back painShoulder painKnee painNeck painElbow painHip pain, or Arthritis pain, a physical therapist at MantraCare can help: Book a physiotherapy session.

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