Sharp Back Pain

You’re just walking along and all of a sudden, ouch! You get a sharp back pain and you wonder to yourself, “Where did that come from?” Sudden sharp pains in your back, also described as acute back pain, have a number of causes. Some are common, such as heavy lifting or lifting improperly, then some not so common, such as an infection in your vertebrae. If your diagnosis is considered mechanical in nature, it is defined as a problem with your bones, or the muscles of the back. The disks and ligaments in your back are also considered mechanical issues that cause sharp pain. Many people have described these pains as spasms which can occur in the upper or lower back. Spasms can be triggered by repetitive strain or even a trauma to the back such as a car accident or serious fall.

A bulging, slipped or ruptured disk is sometimes referred to as a herniated disc. A pinched nerve can also be defined as a herniated disc and can cause sharp sudden pain. A herniated disc can occur from improper heaving lifting or overly strenuous activity. Sciatica, a common symptom of a herniated disc is when a sharp pain shoots down through the buttocks and into the legs. It is extremely painful, but also treatable.


Weakened bones or a fracture of the spine bones or vertebrae can also cause sharp back pain. Osteoporosis is a disease that weakens the bones and left untreated, can cause sharp back pains. In a rare condition known as osteomyelitis, the vertebrae can become infected, but back pain is then often accompanied by a fever and other symptoms.

Occasionally sharp back pain can be a symptom of something that is not really back pain at all. Kidney infections that are left untreated can result in a sharp back pain. Pleurisy, an infection of the lining of the lung can also imitate severe back pain. Both of these infections are treatable and will usually resolve the sharp pains.

Most will agree that anytime you experience pain that comes on suddenly and seemingly for no apparent reason, that you should consult your doctor or health care professional. Only a doctor can correctly determine the true identity of sharp back pain. Heavy lifting, lifting improperly, sitting for a long time in the same spot or twisting and bending repetitively can all create a dull ache or sharp sudden pains. There are many home remedies that can be used to restore your back to a healthy status. However, a sharp pain that suddenly comes out of nowhere is something that you should talk to your doctor about sooner rather than later. It is so important to keep your back healthy and strong, because as many people who have experienced chronic back pain will tell you, sitting, standing, running, walking and generally just about every move you make, you will use your back. Keeping your back strong and healthy will contribute to a more energetic and productive life.

Filed Under: Back Pain
Written By:  Updated:
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Jesse Cannone, CFT, CPRS, MFT

Jesse is the co-founder and visionary CEO of The Healthy Back Institute®, the world-leading source of natural back pain solutions. His mission as a former back pain sufferer is to help others live pain free without surgery and pharmaceuticals.

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