Lower Back Pain

Triggers and Acute Lower Back Pain


Sometimes low back pain comes out of nowhere, but that sudden lower back twinge has a cause. Sometimes, there’s a trigger, like picking up a heavy object/furniture from an awkward position.  But sometimes, it can be a mystery and a challenge to diagnose.

Knowing the cause of lower back pain is important to figuring out the proper treatment plan. Otherwise, one could receive treatment for the wrong diagnosis and possibly exacerbate the existing injury.

Why do I need to know what triggers my back pain?

Knowing what triggers back pain is the first step toward the prevention and how to treat it.

Muscle spasms can stop your cold, so I’m sure you don’t want another one.



Acute Back Pain

Acute low back pain typically comes on suddenly and lasts for a short time.

It often resolves on its own with self-care and a little time.

Back pain that lasts longer than three months is considered chronic.

Chronic back pain can be more complex and require doctor/spine specialist-directed treatment, like physical therapy.

Lower Back Pain Is Common

Over 90 percent of adults will have some type of low back pain during their life.

It is the number one cause of job disability globally and the leading contributor to missed work.

Lower back pain happens more often, compared to mid or upper back pain, because of the location and all of the movement.

The lower back supports the upper body’s weight.

The low back, known as the (lumbar spine) absorbs and distributes all of the forces and stress when we move:

  • Walking
  • Standing
  • Rest
  • Sitting
  • Sleeping

Spinal and abdominal muscles that are weakened heighten injury risk.

These factors combined make the lower back vulnerable to painful spinal conditions.

Common Triggers

When the lumbar spine:

  • Muscles
  • Tendons
  • Ligaments

And other connective tissues get:

  • Pulled
  • Strained
  • Sprained

This is when lower back pain happens.

Small tears in the disc can also contribute to back pain.

Basically, any number of activities and non-activity can cause damage to the spinal discs depending on the movement.

A study published in Arthritis Care & Research saw 999 people from 300 clinics in Australia examine their pain triggers.

The most common triggers include:

Manual tasks performed in an awkward posture

This includes:

  • Lifting boxes with the back and not bending the knees
  • Lifting something too heavy
  • Moderate physical activity
  • Vigorous physical activity

High intense strength training, long bike rides without proper conditioning, handling people or animals, and picking up children can be triggered and cause injury.

Other triggers include:

  • Overstretching
  • Twisting
  • And Trauma


  • Falls
  • Vehicle accidents
  • Sports

Triggers You Might Not Know About

Although we don’t think being Distracted can increase the odds of low back pain.

When not paying attention,  we are more likely to lift and carry something too far from our body or distribute the weight unevenly.

Feeling tired and Fatigued is associated with lower back pain.

Getting the proper amount of sleep is vital to restoring our bodies to optimal performance.

When we don’t sleep the right amount of hours, we make our bodies more susceptible to injury.


Thankfully most cases are not serious and typically resolve within a few days or four weeks of healing on their own.

But if not, these conservative treatments can help you feel better and speed up healing.


a man being treated for a spinal cord injury at the physiotherapist’s office

Continue to Move Around

Depending on how much pain your body will allow, keep doing regular activities and exercise as best as possible.

Activity increases blood flow, which moves oxygen and minerals/nutrients through the body.

Activity and movement help reduce muscle tension and inflammation.


This will not cure a strain or sprain, but they help reduce pain.

The heat helps loosen tight muscles.

This can be done by making warm compresses by soaking a towel in hot water.

Fold it to the size you need and wrap it around your lower back for 20 minutes.  Then rest, massage, and re-apply.


Physical and manual therapies like:

If the pain is intense and interferes with daily activities, a chiropractor/physical therapist can offer exercises and stretches to:

  • Improve posture
  • Increase mobility
  • Correct muscle imbalances

Acute lower back pain can stop your cold with its intensity.

Understanding triggers can take steps to maintain a healthy spine and avoid unpleasant surprises.


Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can relieve pain.

These need to be taken, specifically as directed by your doctor. We’ve seen the opioid crisis, and this treatment is now the last resort. Various medical associations are now pushing toward natural and alternative therapies before turning to medication.

Prolonged use of NSAIDs (Aleve, Advil) can be associated with an upset stomach, kidney damage and gastrointestinal conditions, and bleeding, among other conditions.

Back Pain Rehabilitation


Back pain is one of the most common health issues frequently diagnosed by healthcare professionals. Approximately 80 percent of the population will experience some type of back pain throughout their lifetimes. Because back pain can occur due to a wide array of health issues, diagnosis is essential to follow up with the proper treatment approach. Dr. Alex Jimenez, chiropractor or doctor of chiropractic in El Paso, TX, utilizes chiropractic care to help treat back pain. Patients describe how their back pain affected their quality of life and how Dr. Jimenez helped them improve their overall health and wellness with chiropractic. Patients highly recommend Dr. Jimenez and his staff as the non-surgical choice for back pain, among other common health issues.

NCBI Resources

Throbbing, dull and achy, sharp and excruciating. All of these words can be used to describe lower back pain. Unfortunately, lower back pain is a common occurrence in adults. According to the American Chiropractic Association, low back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide, with millions of reported cases yearly. Patients who experience lower back pain never want to deal with it again, but it can flare up periodically. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, roughly 20% of those who suffer from low back pain will eventually deal with it chronically. This can cause frustration, primarily when it affects mobility.

Post Disclaimer

Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "Triggers and Acute Lower Back Pain" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

Blog Information & Scope Discussions

Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, acupuncture, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from various disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and directly or indirectly support our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has reasonably attempted to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez, DC, or contact us at 915-850-0900.

We are here to help you and your family.


Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN*, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed as a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) in Texas & New Mexico*
Texas DC License # TX5807, New Mexico DC License # NM-DC2182

Licensed as a Registered Nurse (RN*) in Florida
Florida License RN License # RN9617241 (Control No. 3558029)
Compact Status: Multi-State License: Authorized to Practice in 40 States*

Presently Matriculated: ICHS: MSN* FNP (Family Nurse Practitioner Program)

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN* CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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