One of the most common injuries people experience in life is a low back strain. A low back strain occurs when the muscles in your lower back are stretched more than they should be. This could happen from falling, lifting heavy objects, or bending repeatedly. Because the spine is full of nerves, back injuries can actually cause you to feel pain in places other than your back. Generally, though, the most noticeable symptom of low back strain will be a pain in the lower back that gets worse when you move your back.
An orthopedic doctor is the best choice to help you with your back pain, will examine you first and maybe order X-rays or MRIs so your doctor can properly diagnose your back injury. If you feel like your back pain is very mild, it may be possible to treat your pain without seeing a doctor. Resting your back, applying ice and heat, and using over-the-counter pain medication can help you manage your symptoms so that you can heal your back. However, if you don’t see improvement for a couple of days, you should go a see a doctor. If you experience any numbness or extreme pain it’s important to go to the nearest emergency room for treatment. Numbness could mean that there is nerve damage and early treatment is important. The doctor can help determine what is causing your numbness or tingling.
Causes of Back Injuries
Back pain is something most people start to notice at around age 50, but people any age can experience it. As the body and spine ages, back pain or back injuries become more likely. Plus, our core muscles aren’t as strong as they used to be and increase your risk for low back pain.
It’s true, back pain is common ailment but it can be difficult to pinpoint the problem as there are many different causes of back injuries. Some people are born with back injuries. Others can get back injuries through falls, trauma like car crashes, or through overuse.
Technology is a blessing but as far as your neck goes, you could be experiencing something known as text neck. Text neck is causing more people to experience neck pain because we are constantly looking down at our phones. Our bodies weren’t made to constantly be looking down and it can cause issues known as cervical spine issues. This part of the spine is especially susceptible to deterioration with age.
Treatment of Back Injuries
Back injuries can be treated through rest, physical therapy, medication, and surgery. What type of treatment you receive depends on the type and severity of the injury. Back specialists can help determine the cause, type, and treatment necessary for your back injury.
While it may be tempting to self-treat your back pain with bed rest, this is counter-intuitive. Yes, it is okay to rest a day or two after your injury but it does not work as an effective treatment long-term. Your doctor will let you know how many days you should let your backrest based upon their findings.
Your doctor will likely order you to go to physical therapy so that you can learn exercises (mostly strength training) to make your muscles stronger. Stronger muscles can help improve your back pain but don’t be surprised if you feel worse before you get better.
Skip doing light workouts until you have seen a physical therapist and they give you exercises to work on. Strengthening the back and your core muscles are the best way to prevent and treat back pain. After several physical therapy sessions, your therapist or doctor may allow you to begin a light exercise program in addition to your daily strength training exercise.
Preventing Back Injuries
No one likes to experience pain, especially back pain. Rather than treating an injury, it is better to prevent back injuries before they occur. Some of the best ways to prevent back injuries are through strength training, exercise, and maintaining good posture.
Maintaining good posture helps your spine stay straight and minimizes strain in the back. Working out the muscles in your back can help you keep your muscles strong and avoid weak muscle-related issues such as sprains and tears.
At some point in your life, you will likely experience some sort of back pain that stops you in tracks. I’m not talking about a dull ache that goes away with a bit of rest but pain that causes you to feel miserable. It is important to see an orthopedic doctor (back specialist) examine you and help determine the cause of your back pain. Then your doctor will come up with a treatment plan to help get you back to your normal routine.