Let’s get some insight into Severe Onset Low Back Pain

Each week in our office we see people coming into our office with sudden onset of low back pain. Pain that doesn’t seem to have an obvious cause. In this blog we look at what may be weakening the low back to cause the acute painful episode.

The Mosaic Mirror Smashed

What prompted me to do this video was the mirror that smashed to the ground. It thankfully didn’t break and didn’t destroy the tiles on the ground.

Why did it fall to the ground?

The heavy mosaic mirror was up on the wall for over 12 years. The wire snapped, as it had slowly weakened over the years. The other factor that weakened the mirror was the slightly uneven rivets that the mirror as hooked on.

The final straw!

The fact that the mirror was too heavy for the single wire (needed to be doubled) and the slightly uneven rivets caused the collapse of the mirror.

Low back pain – is it a process or event?

With sudden onset of low back pain, we generally exclude an event. If someone has been in an accident, such as fall, then we can clearly understand the mechanism of injury.

Most problems are due to a PROCESS

When people come in with this pain they may mention something like;

  • Got up off the couch and the pain came on suddenly
  • Went to put my shoes on and couldn’t straighten up
  • Get out of bed and the pain was intense

If these situations caused the low back pain, then whenever they put their shoes on, get up off the couch or get out of bed, they should have severe pain. This is not the case, so we then start to understand that the problem is due to a process of events.

What processes can lead to weakening of the low back

Pain in the lower back can come from a variety of structures. These structures include:

  • Discs
  • Muscles
  • Joints
  • Ligaments

With uneven loading on these structures can come about from:

  • History of injury, such as falls, sports injuries, etc
  • Poor sleep posture
  • Prolonged sitting, especially if ergonomics are not ideal
  • Structural imbalance, eg. from short leg, scoliosis
  • Weak spinal and core muscles

Over time, when uneven forces are applied to the spine, then pain can and often does result.

How do we help as chiropractors

Our initial concern when someone has severe low back pain is to determine if we can help. If we can, then we look at improving the movement of the spine with gentle adjustments. We are also concerned with looking at what the processes that caused the low back to weaken over time, and help people to develop better habits in these areas.


Most times we find that people’s spines do give them warnings, such as stiffness, aches and restricted movement. Often these signs and symptoms are ignored and can, over time, lead to a severe and sudden onset of low back pain.

Find out what the 5 Red Flags of FLAT FEET are CLICK HERE.  Find out more about the different causes of knee pain CLICK HERE.

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Lisa, director