Back pain is the second most common neurological ailment in the United States, only headache is more common. Acute low back pain generally lasts from a few days to a few weeks. Most acute back pain is mechanical in nature. Pain from trauma may be caused by a sports injury, work around the house or in the garden, or a sudden jolt such as a car accident or other stress on spinal bones and tissues.

Symptoms may range from muscle ache to shooting or stabbing pain, limited flexibility and/or range of motion, and an inability to stand straight. Occasionally pain felt in one part of the body may “radiate” from a disorder or injury elsewhere in the body. Some acute pain syndromes can become more serious if left untreated.