There is a big difference in the management of acute and chronic lower back pain. It is important you are clear about the differences between them and understand which type you have got.
This article explains the difference between chronic and acute pain and a video I have made shows you the relationship between these two different types of pain to the healing cycle.
This article looks at the causes of chronic pain and has a video explaining the biopsychosocial model of pain and why it is important to understand the three different things that all play a part in this complex problem.
Acute means the problem has come on recently and that is less than a month to six weeks old. 'Acute' is not a description of the severity of the symptoms although many people use it like that e.g. “I had really acute lower back pain last night and I couldn’t sleep because of it”. Acute simply describes how long you have had the problem.
Do's and Dont's in the management of acute pain?
This describes symptoms that has lasted for longer than 6 weeks. Again this is a term used to describe the length of time the lower back symptoms have been present, not the severity of them. Many people describe their problem as chronic, meaning it hurts a lot, but as with acute the term simply means you have had it for a while.
Many people have lower back problems that flare up periodically and becomes much worse now and then, this is sometimes called acute on chronic , although really it fits into the category of chronic.
Chronic back pain can be difficult to treat, lots of things influence it, not just the biological problem itself but your general fitness levels, your confidence with movement and how you think and feel about the problem among other things.
One of the key ways to cope with Chronic Pain is to use pacing techniques. This page explains a bit more what theat means and links to some useful online resources to help you start a pacing programme.