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It is estimated that 80 percent of the population will experience acute (short-term) back pain symptoms at some point in their lives. In fact, back pain is the second most common reason for a doctor’s visit (second only to respiratory infections). Fortunately, in many cases back pain is a mild condition that does not require surgery.

Our acute low back pain program, which is part of our comprehensive spine care program, is designed for patients who have been experiencing short-term, but persistent low back pain (feeling pain for about 3-5 weeks). Our goal is to quickly provide you with the appropriate care and minimize the use of opioids, imaging tests, and invasive procedures as a first-line treatment. 

A Fast Track to Feeling Better

If you have acute low back pain, first consult with your primary care physician about your condition. Education, home exercises, or physical therapy is often the first treatment. If physical therapy is recommended, your doctor's office can help you get an appointment right away with our physical therapy team at one of our convenient Lancaster General Health outpatient locations. Each location has physical therapists who are specially trained in acute low back pain protocols and there is immediate appointment access for patients with acute pain. 

Comprehensive Treatment as a Next Step

If physical therapy or other options are not resolving the pain, you may then be referred to one of our spine care specialists for evaluation. They will help determine what other treatment options are appropriate. Options may include acupuncture, injections, medications, or surgery. 

Managing Your Pain

Addiction to prescription opioids such as oxycodone (Percocet®) or hydrocodone (Vicodin®) has become epidemic across the U.S. Our program offers safe and effective treatment options for pain management, including injections, acupuncture and non-narcotic medications. While most acute low back pain can be effectively treated without narcotics, opioids may still be used cautiously when appropriate.

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