A back pain flare up is one of the most dreaded occurrences for chronic and recurrent dorsopathy patients. Flare-ups are defined as times when the back becomes particularly painful, often resulting in functional limitations or complete disability, until the episode passes.
During the worst years of my own back pain, I had constant and unpredictable flare-ups which made my life a living hell. Fortunately, I no longer experience these miserable events, but I will never forget how they practically ruined my life. Flare-ups foster fear and anxiety, making them emotionally draining, as well as physically debilitating.
Flare-ups only happen to people with a history of back ache. In my experience, I find that many patients suffer recurrent back pain which can take any of the following forms:
Many patients are completely functional most of the time and suffer few, if any, lingering consequences from previous painful episodes. However, they are still prone to regular or occasional flare-ups of severe pain which most commonly land them in bed for days or weeks.
Some patients with chronic symptoms also have acute back pain episodes which can take the already constant misery to new heights while the flare-up lasts.
Flare-ups often consist of particularly brutal symptoms, including back spasms and neurological effects.
The very nature of most flare-up conditions makes it unlikely that the source condition is indeed some anatomical defect. Most structural back pain issues enact regular or constant symptoms, until the causative issue is resolved. However, this is surely not an absolute rule.
Illogically sourced flare-ups in otherwise functional patients are one
of the many indicators of a possible
causation behind the pain. Regardless of the true source of symptoms, the majority of patients begin to assume that particular activities or events contribute to the flare-ups:
It hurts when I bend.
I always throw my back out lifting anything heavy.
When it rains, my back is always sore.
I have heard them all. In a few scenarios, the activity may indeed be an actual contributor or pure source of pain, but in other cases, the activity is simply a psychosomatic trigger and is likely to be part of a larger scale back pain conditioning syndrome.
I know that flare-ups can really make life difficult. They inspire fear and make planning future activities virtually impossible. Remember, that in many cases, this is the exact reason why the flare-up comes… To satisfy a psychoemotional imperative which can not be denied. Not considering this possibility in a recurrent back pain scenario is dooming oneself to almost certain failure of medical treatment. This is statistical fact.
Flare-ups which can be linked definitively to activity or positioning may help accurately diagnose the condition and even lead to successful treatment. Be sure to discuss these possibilities with your doctor and provide them with all the pertinent data possible on your symptomatic expression.