Common Treatments For Back Injuries
Most back pain comes from minor injuries. If you have a minor back injury, it could heal in as little as one to four weeks. A doctor might prescribe treatments like:
- Avoiding activities that worsen pain or require heavy lifting
- Rest combined with regular activities that dont worsen pain
- Physical therapy or physiotherapy
- Over-the-counter or prescription medications
- Surgery, in some cases
Severe back injuries can take much longer to heal. Some never completely heal and require long-term assistance. The details will depend on how your injury happened, the type of back injury, and your overall health.
Some back pain can also show up later on. For example, you might not notice a back injury right after an accident. It could take time to realize that you are experiencing more pain or discomfort.
If your back injury happens after an accident, call your doctor immediately. Its also best to speak with a personal injury lawyer who can let you know your rights. You might deserve financial compensation for a back injury caused by an accident.
Look Into Getting A New Mattress
How old is your bed? You may be surprised to learn that the average life span of a mattress is less than 10 years. Theres no hard-and-fast rule, says Sean Mackey, MD, PhD, chief of the division of pain medicine at Stanford University, but if your mattress is sagging significantly or is more than six to eight years old, Id think about getting a new one.
Something else to consider: A firm mattress may not do your back any favors, says Carmen R. Green, MD, a physician at the University of Michigan Back & Pain Center. A number of studies over the years suggest that people with lower back pain who sleep on medium-firm mattresses do better than those with firm beds, she says.
Complementary And Alternative Techniques Include:
- Acupuncture is moderately effective for chronic low back pain. It involves inserting thin needles into precise points throughout the body and stimulating them , which may cause the body to release naturally occurring painkilling chemicals such as endorphins, serotonin, and acetylcholine.
- Behavioral approaches include:
- Biofeedback involves attaching electrodes to the skin and using an electromyography machine that allows people to become aware of and control their breathing, muscle tension, heart rate, and skin temperature people regulate their response to pain by using relaxation techniques
- Cognitive therapy involves using relaxation and coping techniques to ease back pain
Spinal injections include:Trigger point injections can relax knotted muscles that may contribute to back pain. An injection or series of injections of a local anesthetic and often a corticosteroid drug into the trigger point can lessen or relieve pain.
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Take A Relaxing Epsom Salt Bath
Epsom salt, or magnesium sulfate, works its way through the skin and into sore muscles. Soaking for about 20 minutes can help to ease sore back muscles, especially after exercise.
When taking an Epsom salt bath, youll want to make sure the water is warm. Hot water can cause muscles to swell and cold water can cause muscles to cramp. The Arthritis Foundation recommends a temperature between 92 and 100°F . Temperatures higher than 104°F arent recommended, especially if you have heart problems.
You can also enhance the soothing results by bringing a tennis ball or other rubber ball thats similar in size, with you in the tub. Put it on the small of your back or midback and move side to side. The effect is like a massage to your back, and it further loosens up tight muscles.
An added benefit of Epsom salt is that its great for your skin. Epsom salts can exfoliate dead skin cells, soften the skin, and reduce areas of itchiness.
S To Quickly Recover From A Pulled Back Muscle
Medically reviewed by Dr. Brian Paris, D.C on Nov. 6, 2018.
If you havent already, you probably will at some point experience a pulled back muscle. Theyre the most common cause of low back pain.
It could happen during a game of golf, while cleaning the garage, or even on the dance floor.
While we often tend to refer to any soft tissue pain in the back as a pulled back muscle, were really talking about two separate kinds of back injuries strains and sprains.
In this article, Ill show you the difference between those injuries and how to quickly recover from pulled back muscles without taking drugs like NSAIDs.
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Support Your Body In A Warm Pool
The buoyancy of the water lets you enjoy the benefits of exercise with less pain. Exercising in water also helps regulate the functioning of nerves and muscles, relieving pain.14
If you prefer warmer pools, look into water exercise classes and hydrotherapy pools. Water therapy exercises are often done in water that is about 83 degrees to 88 degrees. Hydrotherapy pool temperatures are often more than 90 degrees.
Bonus Tip: Consider Taking A Vitamin D3 Supplement
If your doctor agrees, consider taking a vitamin D3 supplement. Vitamin D is essential for bone, neuromuscular, and immune system function. Taking a vitamin D3 supplement can help reduce back pain by increasing the absorption of calcium in your body and improving bone strength.15
Finding the perfect pain relief technique is usually a process of trial and error, making it worth exploring various approaches. Try these natural pain-relieving strategies for your back pain and see what works best for you. Severe pain that is not relieved by self-care must be evaluated by a health professional for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
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When Can I Return To Work
Its usually recommend that you return to work right away. If you cannot do your regular job, it is in your best interest to return to some kind of modified duty . Your healthcare provider can give you a prescription for a limited period of modified work duty.
It is very common to be afraid to promptly return to work and other activities because of fear of re-injury. However, if you are receiving proper treatment, your risk of re-injury should be limited. It is in your best interest to return to a normal lifestyle promptly. Early mobility has been found to directly result in a more rapid recovery. Maintaining a positive mental attitude is also imperative to a quick recovery.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 12/22/2020.
Muscle Pull Strains And Sprains
Minor back muscle pulls, strains, or sprains often heal within a few weeks. If there are muscle tears, the patient might need surgery and require a few months for healing.
Minor back pain often needs lots of rest. Your doctor might recommend hot or cold therapy and over-the-counter pain relievers. Go back to your doctor if the pain worsens or doesnt get better with time.
Back Pain Prevention Going Forward
Looking after your back and your spine is essential – you only get one! So how can you go about preventing back pain and injury?
All in all, it’s super important to practice good health. If you have any questions about back pain or muscle pain, always seek help from a professional to ensure you’re doing right by yourself!
Stretching Exercising And Eating Right
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Rest But Not Too Much
Dont rest too long. A little couch time wont hurt, but light activity speeds recovery, so avoid lying down for long periods of time.
Growing evidence shows there is little or no benefit to bed rest over staying active.
So use this rule of thumb: listen to your body.
Ultimately, your level of pain will determine your level of activity.
If a certain activity led to a pulled muscle dont repeat it for at least a week.
For example, if your back pain started after lifting something heavy, avoid lifting heavy objects for at least a week while your pulled back muscle heals.
Also, avoid sitting for too long. Long periods of sitting can tighten your muscles and cause lower back muscle pain and stiffness.
When you sit and stand, use good posture, avoiding slumping in your head and shoulders.
What Is Acute Mechanical Back Pain
Acute mechanical back pain is a common medical problem. Acute pain is pain that has been present in your back for less than four to six weeks. Mechanical means that the source of the pain may be in your spinal joints, discs, vertebrae, or soft tissues. Acute mechanical back pain may also be called acute low back pain, lumbago, idiopathic low back pain, lumbosacral strain or sprain, or lumbar syndrome.
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What Type Of Doctor Should I See For Back Pain
This depends on your condition or symptoms. If you have no obvious injury that would explain your pain, you may want to start by seeing a . This is a specialist in physical medicine who can diagnose back pain and determine whether nonsurgical treatments such as physical therapy may help. Depending on those findings, a physiatrist may also refer you to a , doctor or other type of back specialist, , for additional discussion.
How Common Is Lower Back Pain
Around four out of five people have lower back pain at some point in their lives. Its one of the most common reasons people visit healthcare providers.
Some people are more likely to have lower back pain than others. Risk factors for lower back pain include:
- Age: People over 30 have more back pain. Disks wear away with age. As the disks weaken and wear down, pain and stiffness can result.
- Weight: People who are obese or carry extra weight are more likely to have back pain. Excess weight puts pressure on joints and disks.
- Overall health: Weakened abdominal muscles cant support the spine, which can lead to back strains and sprains. People who smoke, drink alcohol excessively or live a sedentary lifestyle have a higher risk of back pain.
- Occupation and lifestyle: Jobs and activities that require heavy lifting or bending can increase the risk of a back injury.
- Structural problems: Severe back pain can result from conditions, such as scoliosis, that change spine alignment.
- Disease: People who have a family history of osteoarthritis, certain types of cancer and other disease have a higher risk of low back pain.
- Mental health: Back pain can result from depression and anxiety.
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Rub On Medicated Creams
Skin creams, salves, ointments, or patches may help when your back feels stiff, sore, and tense. Many of these products contain ingredients such as menthol, camphor, or lidocaine that can cool, heat, or numb the affected area.
Put on creams right where you hurt. Ask someone to apply it if you have trouble reaching the spot.
âIt’s not going to be a mainstay at providing significant relief, but it can calm things down,â Ray says.
How To Heal A Lower Back Injury Quickly
In this straightforward video, Dr. Rowe shows how to heal a lower back injury quickly in a step-by-step guide.
So if youre watching this video, it probably means that you injured your back and need some quick pain relief.
In this video, Im going to show how to quickly heal a lower back injury quickly, and tell you what you should be doing and what you should DEFINITELY not be doing if you want to get rid of that back pain fast.
Hey everyone, Dr. Rowe here at SpineCare in St. Joseph, MI.
Im not really the biggest fan when I hear that back pain is just part of life. Life is too short to live with pain, so lets work on getting rid of it as much as we can.
Low back pain is really common. So common, in fact, that studies show that up to 15% of individuals are currently reporting that they are experiencing some degree of low back pain.
So if youre part of that group going through a lower back injury, dont worry, youre not alone. Fortunately, most lower back injuries are minor, such as a strain or sprain around the lumbar spine.
Usually its from doing something youre not supposed to, like lifting an object thats too heavy or doing a lot of strenuous activity that overwhelms the low back. Putting a lot of strain on the back will cause the spinal joint ligaments, tendons, and muscles to become irritated and inflamed. So if you have a pulled muscle in the back, this is probably a likely reason why.
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What Are The Warning Signs Of A Serious Problem
Very rarely back pain or pain that travels down the leg is a sign of a serious problem.
If you have any of the following symptoms, you should seek urgent medical attention:
- difficulty controlling or passing urine
- loss of control of your bowels
- numbness around your back passage or your genitals
- serious weakness in your legs so you find standing really difficult
- severe and ongoing back pain that gets worse over several weeks.
The above symptoms could potentially be linked to a rare but serious condition that needs urgent medical attention.
Tip : Physical Therapy
Physical therapy is one of the best first steps you can take to minimize back pain! Whether itâs chronic back pain or something much less severe, seeing a physical therapist can still be a great way to manage your pain.
Physical therapists can offer rehabilitative plans, exercise plans, and treatment plans to help return you to optimal health.
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Natural Treatments For Lower Back Pain Relief
Its estimated that up to 80 percent of adults experience persistent symptoms of lower back pain at some point in their lives, and about 31 million Americans struggle with the condition at any given time. Given its extremely high prevalence rate whether due to a weak psoas muscle, sciatic nerve pain or some other cause its not surprising that lower back pain is considered the single leading cause of disability worldwide according to the American Chiropractic Association, with half of all American workers reporting having occasional back troubles each year. Naturally, this leads to millions searching for lower back pain relief.
Lower back pain can be mild to very severe depending on its underlying causes, how long its been left untreated and the state of someones overall health. The University of Maryland Medical Center states that several important risk factors for lower back problems include family history of back pain, smoking or using tobacco, being overweight or obese, being female, being anxious or depressed, and either doing too much physical work or living a sedentary lifestyle.
Medication From The Store
There are two kinds of over-the-counter pain relievers that frequently help with back pain: nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and acetaminophen. Both have some side effects, and some people may not be able to take them. Talk to your doctor before taking pain relievers. And don’t expect medication alone to solve your pain problem. Studies show you’ll probably need more than one type of treatment.
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