Macksville Clinic - 2/12 Cooper St, Macksville, NSW, 2447 - Nambucca Heads Clinic - 20 Liston St, Nambucca Heads, NSW, 2448

Acute Non-specific Low Back Pain

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 What is Acute non-specific low back pain?

Low back pain refers to pain in the area between your lowest ribs and your bottom. Acute means that the pain has started recently and non-specific refers to the pain is not serious or trigged from arthritis, infection or sciatica. This usually indicates that it may not be possible to find specific area of pain. Imaging is not required to identify what is causing the pain or managing your condition.

What causes acute non-specific low back pain?

It is possible to experience lower back pain if you have the following factors:

  • Depressive symptoms
  • Lifting heavy loads
  • Obesity
  • Repeated lifting
  • Smoking

Although these factors only increase your risk of low back pain slightly.

How do I know if I have non-specific low back pain?

You will need to see your physiotherapist so that they can diagnose if the pain is serious. You will be asked a range of questions and have an examination to successfully diagnose the issue. Imaging is not required.  

How can physiotherapy help with acute non-specific low back pain?

Physiotherapy can help with acute non-specific low back pain by distinguishing what type of low back pain your have and ensuring that it isn’t any other conditions that require further testing. Once you are diagnosed your physiotherapist can explain to you the following:

  • How long your recovery will be
  • What you can do about it
  • How your physiotherapist can help speed up recovery time. Including treatments such as hands-on therapy, education, exercises or a combination of these.
  • What you can do at home which may include how to stay active, how to manage the pain at home and at work, and how to return to your normal activity levels

What can I do at home?

It is recommended that you stay active, use heat and medications such as ibuprofen to help reduce pain. It is highly discourage that you lay in bed for long period of time. You will be able to work during this time.

How long will my recovery be?

Generally it takes about 2 weeks to have reduced pain from the lower back. Your physiotherapist may ask you to fill in a questionnaire to determine how long your recovery will be. You may use these tools to help you decide how to manage your back pain or discuss them with you physiotherapist:

If you would like to find out more please call us or book an appointment here.

Back to Physiotherapy for Your Lower Back

Reference: Australian Physiotherapy Association 2019, Your Body, viewed 19 November 2019, <>.