Back and Neck Injury/Sudden lower back pain


Dr. Steve,

Yesterday I hosted a meeting for several of my universities, I bought food into the office, one bag was about 25 lbs, I put the straps over my shoulder to balance the heaviness.  I wore heels, but they aren't stiletto's, just about 2.5", I've worn shoes this high before without problems.  While in the meeting, the usual comfortable chairs turned into torture, when I'd get up after each training session, I could hardly rise without it being painful, and sitting for a duration was also uncomfortable.  When I returned home I sat on the sofa, getting up caused such a painful episode, that I could barely walk from the pain I was experiencing in my lower back by my hips.  I began taking IB every 4 hours #400 mg#, and used Deep Heating rub.  Sleep was fine, no problem, getting up this morning was fine, but it started shortly thereafter again.  I've been sitting with a heating pad, and still have a problem getting up, walking the first couple of steps, and also bending over.  

I'm 66, slender, and have never had back problems in my life, but did have hip pain about 15 years ago, went for acupuncture, pain was resolved.  Still working full time, walk whenever I get the chance, drive all over the State of MD for my job, and have been diagnosed with Osteoporosis.

Hi Liz,

Sorry to hear about this.

First, try to stay away from heat for a bit. Whatever is going on, it sounds like there is some inflammation and heat may cause more congestion and delay healing. As hot as its been, try some ice on the area - cold pack or even some frozen vegetables in the freezer. Most likely it is a muscle strain - a tear of a muscle. Just like cutting your finger, it bleeds, there is pain and swelling. It must calm down, form a scab and when the scab comes off there is scar tissue. This is the normal process. So, stay away from heat for another day or 2 and try using ice. You can use some topical pain relievers, but cooling like biofreeze. As long as there is no pain or numbness/tingling into the thighs or legs, it is unlikely there is a disc herniation. There can be a tear in the disc and this would need to heal similarly, but would take longer.

A common area of back strain is the quadratus muscle and pain is often reported as a persistent, deep, aching pain while at rest that is worse when sitting or standing. Motion of the lower part of the body may cause a sharp "knifelike" pain and the severity of pain may be totally immobilizing and emotionally distressful. Forward bending is restricted and there is difficulty in turning or leaning to the opposite side of the muscle strain involved and climbing stairs can be painful.

So, ice for a few days, ibuprofen is fine if you are able to take it. A supportive back brace can help get you through the acute phase. Eventually, you may try this back exercise which may help if it is a tear of the disc.

Finally, if it does not show improvement in a few days, you will need to see your doctor. It is possible with osteoporosis to have a spontaneous fracture that would require further attention.

I hope you feel better soon.


Dr. Steve

Back and Neck Injury

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Dr. Steve Ornstein


I can answer questions regarding neck and back pain treatment and general musculoskeletal conditions. Acute, chronic and degenerative conditions using various methods; exercise, rehabilitation, traction. Pain relief methods and professional quality products via website at which can be used at home.


Graduated Chiropractic College in 1987, working in numerous clinics within two states using a variety of manual and physiological therapies. Involved in martial arts for 20 years.

Chiropractor Sherman College, Certified in Physiological Therapeutics from National Chiropractic College, Certified Peer Review Consultant from New York Chiropractic College, Studied with Dr. Cox using Flexion Distraction Technique, Studied with Dr. Leahy using Active Release Technique. Myofascial Release with Dr. Rockwell - Parker Chiropractic College. Certified in Modic Antibiotic Spinal Therapy.

©2017 All rights reserved.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]