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The Ultimate Back Pain Relief Tips Blog

What is Causing Your Sudden Onset Lower Back Pain?

Posted by Dr. Jeff Winternheimer D.C. on Tue, Aug 20, 2013 @ 09:05 AM

Sudden Onset Back PainEight out of ten people will experience back pain at some point throughout their lives. Sometimes, it is slow to onset and gradually worsens, but often, sudden onset (acute) back pain is experienced. While 90% of such cases have benign causes, there is always the chance of it being more serious.

Major Causes of Acute Pain

There are many causes of acute back pain including:

  • Injuries from traumatic events (falls or vehicle crashes)

  • Mechanical problems in the spine (degenerative disc disease, bulging discs, or herniated discs)

  • Medical conditions (arthritis, scoliosis, spinal stenosis, fibromyalgia)

  • Tumors on the spine

Understanding Back Pain

It is obvious enough that if your back is under tremendous pressure or impacted hard enough during a traumatic incident, you are going to experience sudden (and often excruciating) pain of an unpreventable nature. Even someone in perfect health with a strong back can be changed forever by this sort of an event. However, any of the other causes listed above are likely to come with early warning signs that you can identify if you know what to look for.

In many cases, people are suffering from some sort of condition affecting their spine and do not even know it. For instance, you might be blaming the dull aching you feel in your back from time to time on a bad mattress or lousy pillows, until the day when you move the wrong way or your condition progresses in a manner that causes extreme pain. Even if you only suffer from an achy back once in a while, it could simply be the beginning of a condition like scoliosis or sciatica that could flare up and worsen at a moment’s notice.

In the case of mechanical issues with the spine, there are often fewer obvious earlier warning signs. You might be completely free of back pain now, but over time, the level of shock absorbance that your discs are capable of will decrease. One day, from a task as simple as stretching or bending, one of these discs may bulge, rupture, or create nerve pressure which would cause immediate and severe pain.

While a tumor is less commonly a cause for acute back pain, it can also be the hardest problem to detect. This is because a tumor can quietly grow on your spine until it one day gets large enough to put pressure on a nerve and cause tremendous pain. This can be the case in both benign and malignant tumors.


While there are ways to deal with any of cause of sudden onset back pain after the fact, in many cases, irreversible damage will have already been done. This means that your fight will be one to manage the pain or perhaps lessen it, rather than to make it go away entirely. In more severe cases, ignoring the problem could lead to less mobility, paralysis, or even death. This is why Functional Disc Rehydration is the best prevention.  

Remember that the number one contributor for increased risk of any kind of back pain or condition is aging. The older one gets, the more susceptible they are to everything from degenerative disc problems to tumors. By taking the time to consciously look for symptoms and get checked out by a medical professional periodically, you may stop a potential problem before it begins.

Getting Assistance

What sort of sudden back pain have you experienced? The Illinois Back Institute can treat all sorts of back pain including stenosis, sciatica, neck pain, degenerated, herniated, bulging discs. To learn more about how to resolve your sudden onset back pain, request a free back consultation.


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Topics: spine, Back Pain, Bulging Discs, sudden onset, acute pain, back injuries, tumors