Insight Neuro Chiropractic Center – “Throwing out your back,” also known as a back strain or sprain, is a painful experience that affects thousands of people each year. Often caused by awkward movements, heavy lifting, or trauma, back sprains and strains are characterized by sharp, stabbing pain in the lower back, muscle spasms, limited range of motion, and difficulty standing. Although this is a temporary condition, the sudden onset of intense pain can be overwhelming for many people and lead to uncertainty on whether to seek medical attention. To help you understand what to do if you experience sudden back pain and prevent exacerbating your symptoms, here are a few tips from the team at Insight Neuro Chiropractic Center on what to do when you “throw out your back.”
Get Evaluated As Soon As Possible
Early evaluation by a chiropractor is essential for any sudden back pain, especially if you are experiencing numbness, tingling, or weakness. Although back strains and sprains are temporary treatable conditions, a thorough evaluation of your back pain can assess your spine’s alignment and rule out other back-related problems, such as herniated discs or muscle spasms.
Rest With Ice
While you are waiting to see a chiropractor, find a comfortable position to rest and apply ice to the affected area. Ice reduces inflammation, numbs the injury, prevents swelling and muscle spasms, and helps the body begin healing. When using ice for back pain, always remember to use a cloth or towel as a barrier, limit duration to 15-20 minute intervals, and repeat application every couple of hours (as needed).
Avoid Strenuous Activity
After a back injury, it is important to avoid any strenuous activities or movements that can worsen your symptoms. This includes heavy lifting, playing sports or exercising, and abrupt bending or twisting.
Try Gentle Stretching
Although regular exercise and physical activity should be avoided following a back sprain or strain, gentle stretching can be beneficial in improving flexibility and muscle tension. It is important to consult with your chiropractor before attempting any exercises, find a comfortable place to perform your stretches, and remember to start slowly and discontinue any stretches that cause pain.
Think About Posture
Maintaining good posture is an important aspect of managing back pain and preventing a thrown out back. Proper posture reduces strain on the injured area, keeps the spine in alignment, supports muscles, and promotes healing. Tips for maining good posture include sitting/standing with your back straight to avoid slouching, using supportive chairs when sitting for extended periods, and being mindful of body movements when bending or lifting.
Remember to Stay Hydrated
You might not think about hydration when you are experiencing back pain, but drinking an adequate amount of water plays a big part in transporting nutrients throughout the body so you can begin healing. Additionally, adequate hydration helps our joints stay lubricated, reduces inflammation, and enhances muscle and disc function. The amount of hydration a person needs each day varies depending on factors like age, weight, and activity level. A general guideline is to aim for eight glasses of water per day, with more if you engage in physical activity.
Throwing out your back can be a painful experience that leaves many people unsure of what to do. Although it is important to consult with a chiropractor for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan, there are some steps you can take on your own to find relief. If you are experiencing back pain, the team at Insight Neuro Chiropractic Center can help. Contact us today to learn more about our services and schedule an appointment.
Q: What does it mean to “throw out your back?”
A: This is a term that is commonly used to describe sudden, sharp back pain and strains. This condition is often caused by lifting heavy objects, poor posture, sudden movements, and herniated discs.
Q: How long does it take to recover from a thrown out back?
A: Recovery time will vary depending on the severity of your injury. Most people recover within a few days to several weeks. Following a diagnosis, your chiropractor will be able to provide a more accurate timeline for recovery.
Q: Is it possible to prevent throwing out your back?
A: Yes. There are a number of preventive steps you can take to prevent throwing out your back, including following proper lifting techniques, maintaining proper posture, and strengthening your back and core muscles.