What Is Back Pain, Really?

Depending on which Physiotherapist, Physical-Therapist, Chiropractor or Osteopath you visit, you can get varying opinions about Back Pain:

This I always felt is a real problem in multiple professions that deal in musculoskeletal care. Differing opinions cause confusion within the professional classes so what hope do the patients have?

So let’s start at the most basic level of diagnosis. By distinguishing between the two main types of pain it might help the patient to make better informed choices and lessen the fear around their Back Problems. So here goes!

Low back pain is a leading cause of disability. It occurs in similar proportions in all cultures, interferes with quality of life and work performance, and is the most common reason for medical consultations. Few cases of back pain are due to specific causes; most cases are non-specific.


World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/81/9/Ehrlich.pdf Pubmed
Your Kit Contains Everything You Need For Back Pain

What is the difference between Acute and Chronic / Persistent Back Pain?

Your initial treatment of an Acute condition will be to COOL the area to reduce the inflammation and soothe pain.

When it comes to a Chronic condition, you will most likely HEAT the area in order to increase blood-flow, and prepare the body to heal.

David Connor – B.Sc, M.sc Chiropractic, RN/RGN Nursing Orthopaedics, EMT

Low back pain causes issues in lots of different locations, such as hips, groin and even lower limb pain into your legs and knees in more severe cases. The pain severity can vary greatly, but it’s always uncomfortable. A dull chronic pain can really wear you out! So let’s talk about Acute and Chronic symptoms:

Acute Low Back Pain Symptoms

This pain may start suddenly. It is most often caused by a sudden injury to the joints, muscles or ligaments supporting the back. The pain may be caused by muscle spasms or a strain or tear in the muscles and ligaments. If you have been exerting yourself through sport, and subsequently experience acute back-pain, this is most likely the cause.

Acute Back Pain Causes:

  • Muscle strains are really tears to the muscle that happen from over-use or over-stretching
  • A sprain is when the ligaments connecting the bones have been strained and torn
  • Lumbar Facet Joint Sprain
  • Sacroiliac Joint Sprain

If either the muscle or ligament has been damaged, the pain sensation will be similar, and the course of treatment very similar too.

Man and woman wearing the Pain Kit upper back support brace
Upper Back Brace (For Neck Pain)
Attractive Female and Male modeling the back/posture brace, front and back
Lower Back Brace (For Back Pain & Posture)

Have You Strained Or Sprained Your Back?

We have all done it – lifting heavy items wrongly, or twisting your spine when lifting. These acute injuries tend to be treatable, but the more chronic ones can be caused by poor posture over a longer period of time, or an underlying acute injury that hasn’t been resolved fully. How many of us have old sports injuries that cause us pain from time to time?

The acute pain from strains and sprains can be severe! Most acute pain resolves after a couple of days. Although it feels terrible at the time and even counter-intuitive, it is important to keep moving and stay as active as possible until the pain subsides. Using ice and anti inflammatory gels ARE helpful at this stage.

A Positive Mindset Helps Relieve Back Pain

I always feel it is important at this acute stage to not only advise and treat the patient but to educate and help them understand their pain and to stay as active as possible and generally be positive about their outcomes. This valuable insight will really help the patient with future recurrence. Education and knowledge about diet, lifestyle, exercise is crucial to dealing with low back pain and this is a great opportunity to re-enforce this to hopefully reduce recurrence.

Chronic / Persistent Low back Pain Symptoms

The long-term pain you experience can be called Chronic if it lasts for more than three months. If you feel like your body has reached a point where the healing has stopped – and intervention is needed to help it along.

Chronic pain in the low back often involves a disc problem, a joint problem, and/or an irritated nerve root. Patients who suffer persistent low back pain have to work on their pain. Once they understand what their pain is I always feel it is easier for them to adhere to movement and rehab programs. Taking control, self management is often bandied about but this will only work if the patient fully understands their condition. If they do and it’s communicated well, better pain outcomes are achieved.

70% of people with chronic pain are women - why is this?
Posture & Exercise Are Key To Solving Back Pain

Chronic Lower Back Pain Causes:

  • Unresolved Trauma or Chronic Injury
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Facet joint dysfunction
  • Lumbar herniated disc (when the disc bulges out of position and irritates a nearby nerve – it’s excruciating)
  • Sacroiliac joint dysfunction
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spondylolisthesis (slipped vertebra, not a slipped-disc)
  • General posture and fitness issues

How Do You Fix A Sore Back?

Your lifestyle and working environment is often causing your Chronic Back Pain.

Although chronic /persistent low back pain can be challenging for both practitioners and patients there is so much that can be done. When the communication is right and the patient is fully aware of their issues I always feel rehab programs work best.

Step by step programmes with clear, easy to follow instructions are the key. A long-term plan is the key to prevent pain from recurring and stop it interfering in your life. Our own methodology uses a tried-and-trusted Healing Methodology: Heat, Massage, Move, Stretch, Strengthen and Cool

How Common Is Back Pain?

Up to 80% of the (USA, UK, European) population will experience low back pain in their lifetime and most people (70%) who get it will recover to a large degree, although recurrences are common. For a smaller group of people (up to 30%) it may become persistent (lasting beyond 6-12 weeks) and disrupt many aspects of a person’s life and may need treatment.

In the vast majority of cases, the back pain people experience can be fixed, and isn’t caused by a major problem. In fact, it can even be difficult to understand the exact cause of a back pain problem in it’s initial stages. Sometimes you can be given a diagnosis of “non-specific back pain” which I feel is a problematic term that doesn’t really help the patient understand what’s going on.

The recommendation can be for some light treatment, and then for you to keep active and do normal activities as you go about your daily life. When things get more acute, though, enter the painkillers – which, for us are always a last-resort!

You really should be aiming for drug-free pain solutions! Give yourself a good chance at treating the pain – it shouldn’t last very long if you are doing things the right way.

Tiger Woods Knee Pain
Back Pain - It's Very Common


Different types of pain require different treatments – so always consult your medical professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. This can be helped by a Back Pain Kit, so feel free to check out what’s available on our site – one or two may be suitable for your condition!

At least, after reading this blog, hopefully you will have a better understanding of low back pain. The difference between the two and what can be done about it. Best of luck!

Frequently Asked Questions:

What Are The Two Main Types Of Back Pain?

Acute Back Pain – appears suddenly and can be caused by an injury or strain

Chronic Back Pain – slowly appears and builds over a long period of time, mostly due to lifestyle or posture issues

How Do I Know If My Back Pain Is Serious?

If you can’t work out the cause of your back pain – like a strain or injury, you could be developing a chronic form of back pain. This could be caused by Osteoarthritis, or simply by bad posture and lifestyle. You should get it checked either way.

Why Does Back Pain Come Back?

The underlying issue has not been solved, so this caused back pain to come back. If it’s an injury, it needs to fully heal – but more commonly you could have Osteoarthritis or even Circulation Issues, which will require more lifestyle changes. If you are living with chronic back pain, you can consider the following to help:

  • Upper or Lower Back Brace
  • Heat Therapy
  • Massage
  • Movement Exercises
  • Stretching
  • Strength Exercises
  • Cold Therapy


How To Fix A Bad Back?

First, get a full diagnosis from your medical professional so you know what you are dealing with. Some injuries take time to heal, or even require surgery. Spending a lot on expensive chiropractic treatments might be necessary, or you could try a program of Massage, Movement, Stretching and Strength Exercises that could be more suited to chronic types of back pain.

Back Pain Remedy Pack
Back Pain Kit
£ 59.99
  • EUR: € 69.99
  • USD: $ 79.99
Neck pain from work or your job treatment
Neck Pain Kit
£ 59.99
  • EUR: € 69.99
  • USD: $ 79.99
Beautiful posture for young people experiencing pain
Posture Kit
£ 59.99
  • EUR: € 69.99
  • USD: $ 79.99