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Tips & Tricks When Dealing With Acute Non-Specific Low Back Pain

Correct exercise for NSLBP

What is Acute Non-Specific Low Back Pain?

Acute non-specific low back pain refers to pain in the lower back that is not attributed to any specific cause such as a herniated disc, fracture, or disease. It is a common condition and usually improves on its own within a few weeks.


  • Sudden pain in the lower back

  • Stiffness or difficulty in moving

  • Pain that may radiate to the buttocks or legs

Importance of Rest

Rest, But Don't Overdo It

While it's important to rest and avoid activities that can worsen your pain, complete bed rest for more than a day or two is generally not recommended. Prolonged inactivity can lead to stiffness and muscle weakening, which might prolong your recovery.

Tips for Resting:

  • Avoid heavy lifting, twisting, or bending.

  • Use a comfortable mattress and sleep positions that support your back.

  • Take short breaks to rest during the day, especially if you feel the pain flaring up.

Importance of Correct Exercise

Stay Active with the Right Exercises

Engaging in the correct exercises can help speed up your recovery by strengthening the muscles that support your back, improving flexibility, and promoting blood flow to the affected area.

Recommended Exercises:

  • Walking: A simple and effective way to stay active without putting too much strain on your back.

  • Stretching: Gentle stretches can help maintain flexibility. Focus on stretches that target the lower back, hamstrings, and hips.

  • Core Strengthening: Exercises like pelvic tilts, bridges, and gentle abdominal workouts can strengthen your core, providing better support for your back.

Exercise Tips:

  • Start slowly and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts.

  • Avoid movements that cause pain. If an exercise hurts, stop immediately.

  • Consider working with a physical therapist to develop a personalized exercise plan.

Pain-Free Movement

Importance of Movement

Moving your body helps to keep your muscles flexible and can reduce stiffness. Even when you are resting, try to change positions frequently to avoid prolonged pressure on any one part of your back.

Tips for Pain-Free Movement:

  • Posture: Maintain good posture whether sitting, standing, or walking. Keep your back straight and avoid slouching.

  • Ergonomics: Ensure your workspace is set up to support good posture. Use a chair that supports your lower back and keep your computer screen at eye level.

  • Lifting Techniques: When lifting objects, bend at your knees and keep the object close to your body. Avoid twisting your torso while lifting.

Pain Management

Managing Pain Effectively

While your body heals, managing pain is crucial to maintaining your quality of life and allowing you to stay active.

Pain Relief Methods:

  • Medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help reduce pain and inflammation. Follow the dosage instructions and consult your doctor if needed.

  • Heat and Cold Therapy: Applying a cold pack in the first 48 hours can reduce inflammation, while heat therapy can relax muscles and improve blood flow afterward.

  • Massage Therapy: Gentle massage can alleviate muscle tension and promote relaxation.

  • Relaxation Techniques: Stress can worsen pain. Practices like deep breathing, meditation, or yoga can help reduce stress and manage pain.

When to Seek Medical Help:

  • If your pain is severe and not improving with rest and over-the-counter treatments.

  • If you experience symptoms like numbness, tingling, or weakness in your legs.

  • If you have trouble controlling your bladder or bowels.


Acute non-specific low back pain can be managed effectively with the right balance of rest, exercise, pain-free movement, and proper pain management. By following these guidelines, you can help support your recovery and reduce the likelihood of future episodes.

If you have any questions or concerns, please consult your healthcare provider for personalized advice and treatment options.

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