Acute Disk Injury

Acute low back pain is a very common complaint; with approximately 80% of people experiencing it within their lifetime, most often those between the ages of 35 and 55 years old.

Acute disc injury is a very common cause of acute low back pain. The good news is that acute low back pain is most often self limiting, with a recovery rate of 90% within 6 weeks and no prolonged loss of function. However, prompt treatment facilitates a significantly quicker recovery.

Additionally, a delay in seeking treatment can result in a greater risk of developing a protracted and ongoing complaint. Although pain levels can be high, most cases (about 85%) do not have a serious pathological cause. However, it is common for acute low back pain to reoccur, with approximately 60-80% of sufferers experiencing a recurrence within two years. It is important for patients seek and receive appropriate treatment and management to allow speedy recovery and to prevent re-occurrence.

Acute disc injury used to be referred to as a ’slipped disc’; however, this terminology is not commonly used nowadays as it does not accurately reflect the injury. Now terms including disc bulge, disc protrusion, disc prolapse, disc herniation and disc sequestration are used to describe acute disc injury.

Please refer to the ‘Lumbar disc pathology’ information sheet on the LifeCare website for the Anatomy, Pathology, Signs and Symptoms. 

For more information please see your local LifeCare practitioner. 

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