Many people experience occasional back pain caused by sore muscles, usually caused by overexertion. Although minor back injuries can cause pain and discomfort, they usually heal with adequate treatment and rest. Severe back injuries often require surgery or long-term treatment for chronic pain management that can take months or years to heal.
Types of Back Injuries
Minor back injuries are typically caused by overexertion during exercise, athletic activities and lifting heavy objects. The results are usually pulled muscles, sprained ligaments, torn cartilages, bruising and swelling. The lower back is subject to a great deal of strain from activities like golf, tennis, bicycling, swimming and running that use repetitive impact.
Car accidents and slip-and-fall injuries account for a significant number of major back injuries each year. Both types of injuries can result in sprains to muscles and limbs, nerve damage, ruptured discs, torn ligaments, and fractures or broken bones. Severe back injuries can result in spinal cord damage that can lead to immobilization and temporary or permanent paralysis.
Back Injury Treatments
Depending on the severity of your back injury, treatments can range from medication and bed rest to physical therapy and surgery. Minor sprains and pulled muscles usually respond well to icing, anti-inflammatory medications and bed rest. Often, strengthening and stretching exercises along with physical therapy are recommended. Bone, ligament and disc injuries that result in tears and breaks may require physical therapy, as well as pain medication or medical acupuncture treatments for chronic pain management. Spinal fractures occur when the bones in your spine, called vertebrae, break or collapse. If the spinal cord or nerves are damaged, numbness, weakness, tingling, even paralysis can occur. Most spinal injuries require close medical attention that includes pain medications, back braces, physical therapy and surgery to heal properly.
Your back is made of bones, muscles and various tissues that extend from your neck to your pelvis, and back injuries can occur in any of these areas. Whether your back injury is minor or severe, it can cause pain and limit your mobility. It may be impossible to prevent back injuries from an unexpected accident, but you can prevent minor muscle strains and sprained ligaments by using caution during exercise and outdoor activities. It's important to take care of your back. If you're suffering from back pain, talk to your doctor and learn more about back injuries, types of treatments and pain management.