Acute pain is defined as pain present for up to six weeks. It may be experienced as aching, burning, stabbing, sharp or dull, well-defined, or vague. The intensity may range from mild to severe and may fluctuate.
Acute pain is often related to a specific activity, injury, or accident, but can also be seemingly unrelated to a specific activity. The pain may begin suddenly or develop gradually.
The exact source of acute spine pain is often difficult to identify. In fact, there are numerous possible pain producers including muscles, soft connective tissue, ligaments, joint capsules and cartilage, and blood vessels. These tissues may be pulled, strained, stretched or sprained. Even if the actual tissue damage is minor, and likely to repair quickly, the pain experienced may be quite severe.