It should be noted, however, that it is very essential to consult the doctor in case of severe back pain after an injury. Other symptoms which require immediate attention are loss of bowel or bladder control, leg weakness, fever, and pain when coughing or urinating. Please consult your doctor if you have these symptoms along with back pain.
It is very difficult to identify the actual source of acute back pain. There are a lot of reasons for acute back pain and there are numerous pain producers including muscles, ligaments, joints, etc. The various causes for acute back pain include,
A physical examination will enable the physician to determine the cause of the back pain and whether it is likely to get better with simple measures such as physical therapy, ice, exercises, mild pain killers, etc. Most often, back pain gets better with these measures. The acute pain generally lasts for five weeks or less. Hence, the physician may not perform any tests unless he suspects any serious reasons.
The tests that the doctor might order if he suspects a serious problem are x-ray, CT, or MRI of the back.
Limited rest for the first few days will help in relieving the symptoms and reduce swelling in the area of pain.
During about the first 48 hours of pain, it is best to apply ice pack for up to 20 minutes several times a day. This blocks pain signals and helps reduce inflammation. After the 48 hours of pain, heat pack can be applied. This will stimulate blood flow and reduce painful spasms.
Traction, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, etc. help in providing pain relief.
Switch to the posture that gives least stress to your back and try and maintain it even when sitting or standing.