Back Sprains and Strains A sprain or strain of the back is the most common type of back injury. These injuries can occur acutely (suddenly) or slowly over time. Strains usually occur from twisting or pulling a muscle or tendon in the back. What does it mean to injure your back? The back is made up of bones, muscles, and other tissues that extend from the neck to the pelvis.
Back injuries can result from playing sports, working around the house or in the garden, car accidents at low or high speed, lifting heavy objects, or falling. Injuries can affect any part of the back, but most injuries occur in the lower back. Common injuries include sprains and strains, herniated discs, or fractured vertebrae. The severity of injuries varies depending on the cause of the injury and the damage done.
These injuries can cause pain and limit movement. Treatments vary, but may include medications, icing, bed rest, physical therapy, or surgery. You may be able to prevent some back injuries by maintaining a healthy weight, lifting objects with your legs, and using lower back support when you are seated. There can be many causes of back pain, including accidents, strains, and injuries.
Two types of back injuries are spondylolisthesis and cervical radiculopathy. Both have their own set of symptoms, causes and treatments. There are many causes for spondylolisthesis. A vertebra may be defective from the moment a person is born, or a vertebra may be broken by trauma or stress fracture.
In addition, vertebrae can break down due to infection or disease. Spondylolisthesis is treated by strengthening the supporting abdominal and back muscles using physical therapy. Acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ketoprofen (Frotek), ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), and naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), can help relieve pain. Epidural steroid injections can also be effective.
For patients who continue to have severe pain and disability despite these treatments, there are options such as decompressive laminectomy, a procedure in which the spinal canal is widened (to provide more space for nerves and spinal fusion is performed to stabilize the spinal cord), with or without fusion surgical (arthrodesis) of the vertebra, or the use of an implanted device to stabilize the vertebrae in the lower back while allowing more normal movement. Back pain can range in intensity, from constant dull pain to sudden, sharp, or throbbing pain. It can start suddenly as a result of an accident or when lifting something heavy, or it can develop over time as we age. Doing too little exercise followed by strenuous training can also cause back pain.
Strains and sprains are very common injuries. In addition to headaches, back problems are the most common complaint for healthcare professionals. Serious back injuries include fractures (broken bone), wounds, extensive bruising, and damage to the spinal cord and internal organs. In cervical radiculopathy, damage can occur as a result of pressure from a ruptured disc material, degenerative changes in bone, arthritis, or other injuries that put pressure on nerve roots.
You may be able to prevent some back injuries by maintaining a healthy weight, maintaining a strong core, and using proper body mechanics while lifting objects with your legs. Many work-related injuries are caused or aggravated by stressors such as lifting heavy objects, contact stress (repeated or constant contact between the soft tissue of the body and a hard or sharp object), vibrations, repetitive movements, and uncomfortable postures. Back injuries can result from sports injuries, work around the house or garden, or a sudden shake, such as a car accident. The worst of these injuries is called a fracture-dislocation, in which the bone breaks but, because the ligaments also tear, the bones slide off each other.
Surgery When other therapies fail, surgery may be considered to relieve pain caused by worsening nerve damage, severe musculoskeletal injury, or nerve compression. .