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The differences between acute and chronic low back pain

Lower back pain is classified according to its duration as acute (short term) or chronic (long term). Acute lower back pain is usually benign and self-limiting, and typically lasts for less than 12 weeks. It is often due to mechanical causes, such as trauma or a lifting injury, especially when a person lifts by bending over and twisting to pick something up. Acute lower back pain can be perceived by a person in many ways, including muscle aches, shooting or stabbing pain, and may be accompanied by limited flexibility and/or range of motion, or a limited ability to stand straight. In contrast, chronic lower back pain persists for longer than 3 months. Unlike acute lower back pain, chronic back pain can be progressive in nature. It may get worse over time. It is often difficult to determine the cause of chronic lower back pain. Both acute and chronic lower back pain can be further classified by the presence or absence of neurological symptoms and signs. Nonspecific or non-radicular lower back pain is not associated with neurologic symptoms or signs.

The differences between acute and chronic low back pain

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