In cases of acute lumbar spine syndrome, sharp pain in the lower back occurs out of the blue. The trigger is usually a harmless movement during sports, work or just everyday life. Even simple movements such as bending over, turning or standing up can trigger lumbar spine syndrome. Due to the severity of the back pain, a herniated disc is often incorrectly assumed to be the cause (and should be checked for the confirm). However, an acute lumbar spine syndrome usually has more harmless causes and heals without long-term effects.
Recognising acute lumbar spine syndrome
Acute lumbar spine syndrome - also known by most people as lumbago - is a very sudden, very violent and sharp pain in the lumbar spine (just in the lower back around your hips). After the shooting pain, movement is initially restricted or not at all possible. Even the smallest movement is so painful that those affected often remain in a stooped position. The pain and the resulting posture causes the muscles of the lower back to cramp , which in turn increases the pain. An agonizing situation for those affected who often struggle to break this vicious cycle.
Causes of Lumbago
Acute lumbar spine syndrome is most often triggered by everyday stresses on the spine and back during sports o everyday life. The back pain is so severe that a herniated disc is often assumed to be the cause. However, this is rarely the cause. Lumbago is mainly caused by a blockage of one of your vertebral joints, or tension or spasms in the back muscles. Incorrect and excessive strain are among the most common causes of an acute lumbar spine syndrome (incorrect lifting, poor posture while working etc).
Acute lumbar spine syndrome - duration of treatment
If you’re initially affected lumbago, rest is advisable for the first one or two days. After that it’s important to slowly work your way back to everyday regular normal movements. The pain can continue for another four to five days and should be carefully managed. With certain movements - such as turning or bending over - it is possible that slight pain in the lower back may last for up to two weeks after an acute lumbar spine syndrome. A doctor should be notified as soon as possible if the pain does not subside even after one or two days, especially if it is accompanied by issues with your bowels or bladder, or numbness/paralysis in the legs.
First measures for acute lumbar spine syndrome
In the case of lumbago, those affected should start by taking it easy. Since sitting and standing are usually painful, slow walking or a lying position is recommended. Sufferers should lie flat on their back with their legs raised. To relieve the lower back, the legs should form a right angle at the hip joint and knee. To achieve this, pillows and blankets can be draped so that they form a step at a 90-degree angle, as well as using your couch or a wall. The legs can then be placed on it. This posture is not necessarily comfortable, but it is effective in relieving pain in short and long-term.
Alternatively, the person affected can lie flat on the floor and place their lower legs on a chair to make it more comfortable. In addition, warming the affected area with a hot water bottle, heat pack, muscle ointment or a warm bath relaxes the muscles and relieves pain.
Acute lumbar spine syndrome - treatment and prevention
The therapy of a lumbar spine syndrome consists primarily of pain relief while the muscles recover. Those affected are usually given anti-inflammatory pain medication that relaxes the muscles. In addition, slow movement, the application of heat and positioned rest in which the legs are raised, are recommended.
In the case of a vertebral joint blockage, manual straightening of the vertebra by a physiotherapist may be necessary, but should only be done when directed by a doctor.
Physiotherapy, massages and acupuncture can all strengthen the back muscles in the long term and prevent lumbago recurring.
Relaxing the back
As muscle tension in the back can also arise as a result of stress , the use of Jacobsen's progressive muscle relaxation has proven itself very effective. This is a relaxation process in which muscle groups are specifically tensed and then relaxed again. Other methods such as yoga and pilates can also have a positive effect on the back.
Acute pain relief and aftercare with back supports
Some people suffer from persistent or recurring back pain after acute lumbar spine syndrome, especially if there are other issues affecting the back. Medical back supports and conservative therapy (massage, physio etc) and can help prevent the issue from developing or worsening. In addition, back supports protect and relieve the back during sport and work, allowing you to focus on what’s important to you.
Back supports like the Bauerfeind LumboTrain stabilise the lumbar spine during and after acute lumbar spine syndrome, making them perfect for treatment, recovery and prevention. Back pain is relieved and tension eased. The active support has a triangular massage pad with special nubs that massage the lumbar spine area when worn. The spine is stabilized and relieved by the compression in the back.
Due to the breathable and anatomic material, the active support is comfortable to wear and easy to put on. The back support adapts extremely well to the various body shapes. With the LumboTrain Lady , a bandage is available that is specially tailored to the specifics of the female body shape.