Acute lower back pain is one of the most torturous conditions on Earth. Words are not adequate to describe the sheer misery of severe lower back pain and muscular spasms. The pain takes control of a patient’s life and dominates their every waking moment. Severe symptoms in the low back are one of the most common reasons for a person to seek medical treatment. This is ironic, since medical science is not known for having tremendous success in the treatment of most common back pain conditions. In fact, my own hellish journey of spinal suffering proved to me definitively that most doctors really have no idea what causes such severe symptoms or how to treat them effectively. Sure, doctors can manage to provide lots of drugs to “take the edge off” at great health risk to the patient in some cases, but true and lasting cures for back ache are seldom found.
This essay provides an insightful first person perspective on acute lower back pain and explores why the condition sits justifiably at a the top of all modern pain scales.
One of the worst symptoms of severe low back pain is the wrenching contractions of back muscle spasms. This pain is like someone reaching into your very spine and squeezing the nerves with enough force to momentarily paralyze you. I suffered from many bouts of agonizing back spasms during my decades of suffering from acute and chronic back pain. During a muscle spasm, there is no escape from the gripping terror that commands immediate attention.
I am not ashamed to say that my horrendous back pain brought me to tears on at least 2 occasions in my life. If you have ever suffered one, then I am sure your are empathetic to this desperate feeling of utter pain. The torture makes every waking minute seem like an eternity and sleep is impossible, so you have no choice but to endure the suffering.
Patients who have suffered from severe low back pain often develop an immediate fear of a recurrence. The pain might not leave any permanent physical damage, but the emotional scars run very deep. Patients often become conditioned to expect pain from a specific activity or event. This leads to the development of prohibitions regarding behaviors and activities.
Once back pain gets into a patients soul, it is nearly impossible to remove. It is no surprise that acute back symptoms often turn into chronic pain which can last a lifetime. I will never forget the agony of my own pain, nor the dire catastrophic effects it had upon my life. It has been decades since my worst attacks, but the misery is still clearly defined in my mind, as timeless as any present moment in my current life.
It is important to relax during bouts of acute pain. Stress caused by the severe pain only perpetuates and intensifies the symptoms. Do not assume that you will be in pain for a long time. Sometimes, acute pain can resolve in a matter of days.
Try not to get into the habit of taking powerful pain relievers when you have severe suffering. These drugs can be habit forming and can also perpetuate the length of symptoms.
Most of all, do not dread a recurrence so much as to actually cause one. Worry over your future is a prime cause of long-term psychosomatic pain syndromes. Remember that when it comes to back pain, the mind and body are working together to cause the pain and they can also work in tandem to cure it.