Sudden episodes of back pain can strike for little or no reason

You’re walking along, feeling good and thinking about the upcoming weekend, when you bend over to pick up a kleenex off the floor and BAM, out of nowhere, you’re hit with a sudden attack of excruciating back pain. Sound familiar?

Unfortunately, for millions of people, it sounds all too familiar. Back pain can strike at any time and for little or no reason. Here are some of the best treatment options for sudden back pain.

Best Treatment for Sudden Back Pain

Health and personal finance writer for the Huffington Post, Eva Norlyk Smith, Ph.D., discusses the best ways of addressing sudden back pain.

My husband, a body worker specializing in injuries and chronic pain issues, recently was called to make an emergency visit at a birthday party, where the host was in an awkward predicament. The host had been getting out of his chair to greet a guest, when suddenly his back froze up, forcing him back into the chair. He was still sitting in that chair three hours later, completely unable to move, when my husband arrived to help him.

This startling, out-of-the blue onset of intense back pain is a surprisingly common experience for many back pain sufferers. If you’re lucky enough to not have experienced it yourself, you probably know someone who has. You’re going about your normal business and suddenly your back spasms up, seemingly for no apparent reason, and you just can’t move.

It’s a curious phenomenon, and one that holds a key to understanding why many types of back pain arise and what you can do about it. Of course, there are times when back pain has clear causes, originating from an accident, overuse or sports injury. But just as often, back pain strikes like lightning, for no apparent reason. And if it has happened to you once or twice, the more likely it is to happen again.

To cast some more light on the reasons behind this phenomenon, I caught up with Dr. Loren Fishman, a HuffPost blogger and physician specializing in Rehabilitation Medicine and author of “Cure Back Pain with Yoga” and yoga therapist Ellen Saltonstall, co-author with Dr. Fishman of “Yoga for Osteoporosis” and “Yoga for Arthritis.”

Question: According to statistics, eight out of 10 people will develop back pain at one point in their lives. And in many cases, people come down with a serious case of back pain for no apparent reason. What’s the reason behind this phenomenon?

Dr. Loren Fishman: It’s true, many cases of back pain do seem to arise from something very trivial. Sometimes it’s obvious: for example, you’re pulling weeds in your garden at the end of the season when the weeds are really tough. We can exert a tremendous leverage on the spine; the kind of pressures that you can generate may be a hundred times greater than normal. You may only realize it when it’s too late.

But then there’s also the case where you’re doing something seemingly innocuous. It can be something as simple as a sneeze, which causes the back to go into a spasm. A sneeze may even cause a herniated disc; we see that quite frequently.

Ellen Saltonstall: However, while it may seem to be something that strikes from out of the blue, it’s really just the straw that breaks the camel’s back. The movement or sneeze that triggers the back pain incident is preceded by a whole syndrome of muscular imbalances.

For many people, some muscles are chronically way too tight. It can be due to their daily habits or due to structural imbalances, or both. Correspondingly, some muscle groups will be too weak. If these muscular imbalances persist over time, it sets you up for the situation where one little thing is enough to trigger back pain. It doesn’t take much to cause the muscle spasm to start, because for months or years those muscles have been forced to do something that they are not really designed to do.

As the muscles get increasingly worn out, they will be more likely to go into spasm. But in cases like that, there is a generally a long-standing pattern of muscular imbalances behind it, and then one little incident is enough to trigger a muscle spasm. (Read the full article)

When sudden back pain strikes, what do you do? Leave a comment below to share some of your experiences with back pain, neck pain, or sciatica and what you did that provided relief of your symptoms.

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