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Back Injury

Back InjuryRegardless of how careful you are or your level of physical fitness, back injuries can occur unexpectedly, whether during an accident or sports-related incident. It’s even possible for a lower-back injury to occur from twisting awkwardly. When suffering from pain from a back injury, turn to Pro Spine & Pain for high-quality care in Wisconsin. Allow our pain management specialists to not only reduce your pain, but also to address its underlying cause. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and receive expert back injury treatment.

Back injuries can manifest as either acute and short-term or chronic and long-term. Acute pain may persist for a few days to several weeks, while chronic pain lingers for months, making it more challenging to pinpoint the exact cause. If your pain extends beyond 12 weeks, it is categorized as chronic back pain.

Whether you experience a dull ache or a sharp pain in your back, back injuries can occur in various ways and locations, including the upper back and neck (cervical spine), middle back (thoracic spine), or lower back (lumbar spine). As you age, the likelihood of having a problem with this condition increases, but back injuries can affect individuals of any age, even those who lead active lifestyles.

To maintain a resilient back, engage in exercises approved by your doctor, practice mindful lifting techniques, and pay attention to your posture. These preventive measures can significantly reduce the risk of back injuries. However, if you do find yourself dealing with a back injury, seek the expertise of the pain management professionals at Pro Spine & Pain, which has five convenient locations in Wisconsin.

Causes of Back Injuries

Within your central nervous system, there are 31 pairs of nerve roots coming out of your spinal cord, responsible for regulating everything from body movements to pain signals. When your back is compromised, be it through a nerve impingement or a strained muscle, the result is usually pain and potential limitations in flexibility.

One of the most common injury symptoms is acute lower back pain, affecting nearly 80 percent of adults. This pain is frequently attributed to incidents at work or during sports activities.

Some injuries include:

  • Overstretching, leading to muscle or tendon strain, or ligament sprain
  • Tearing of ligaments, tendons, or muscles
  • Improperly lifting a load that exceeds your capacity
  • Direct impact on your back from a car accident or fall, for example
  • Pre-existing medical conditions, such as arthritis or osteoporosis, contributing to fractured vertebrae or a compression fracture
  • Untreated back pain that causes poor posture and incorrect movement

Protect Your Back

To ensure you maintain a strong back and can continue with your normal daily routines and exercise, prioritize the strength and flexibility of your body by dedicating time to stretches and warm-ups before embarking on physical activity. Tailor these exercises to specifically prepare your back for the twisting and reaching movements required for the job you have to do or your chosen sport or exercise routine.

Those who don’t engage in regular exercise or lead a predominantly sedentary lifestyle are at risk. Irregular physical activity during the week coupled with a sudden surge in intensity over the weekend can result in painful back injuries, particularly as you get older. If this resonates with you, take the necessary steps to warm up well before diving into your enjoyable hobbies.

Risk Factors for Back Injuries

Feeling invincible is a common mindset, especially among young and reasonably strong individuals in their 20s and 30s. However, this attitude can set the stage for careless back injuries, particularly as you get older.

If you find yourself in the following categories, be aware that these conditions can increase the risk of injuring your back or spine:

  • Aged between 30 and 50 years
  • Loss of bone strength due to osteoporosis, leading to fractures
  • Decreased muscle elasticity and tone
  • Suspected loss of fluid in vertebral discs, reducing their ability to cushion the spine bones
  • Lack of physical fitness due to an irregular exercise routine
  • Weakness in back and abdominal muscles, providing inadequate support to the spine
  • Pregnancy with associated back pain (typically resolving post-partum)
  • Weight gain, adding extra stress on the back
  • Occupation involving heavy lifting, pushing, pulling, twisting, or vibrating the spine
  • Sedentary job with poor posture and inadequate back support
  • Presence of anxiety or depression, potentially leading to muscle tension

Treatment Options for Back Injuries

The uncertainty of back pain can be unsettling without a clear understanding of its origins. This is where the importance of an accurate diagnosis from a healthcare professional comes into play. With the right diagnosis, your pain management specialist can tailor a targeted treatment plan, recognizing that lower back injury treatment may differ from upper back injury treatment or mid-back injury treatment. The approach depends on identifying the root cause of your pain.

At Pro Spine & Pain, anticipate non-surgical procedures designed to effectively address your back pain. Your back injury treatment may include:

  • Physical therapy to strengthen the surrounding muscles and restore flexibility to your spine
  • Depending on the cause of the problem, bed rest may also occasionally be recommended
  • Pain relief medications, administered orally or through injections into the affected area, enabling you to engage in therapeutic exercises without discomfort
  • Lubricating injections containing anti-inflammatory medication to expedite healing and alleviate pain
  • Topical treatments that work externally to alleviate pain
  • Muscle relaxants to work directly on the affected muscles

Even for individuals who stay active, maintain fitness, and adhere to weekly exercise routines, back injuries can still occur. They are not exclusive to a particular lifestyle. For an accurate diagnosis, tailored treatment, and a comprehensive management plan, consult with the leading pain management team in Wisconsin. Reach out to the team at Pro Spine & Pain to receive the care that will facilitate your return to an active lifestyle. With you, we will set you up for fitness and health for a sustained and vibrant life.

Updated on Apr 26, 2024 by Dr. Thomas Stauss (Pain Management) of Pro Spine & Pain

Thomas Stauss, MD

Thomas Stauss, MD, completed both his undergraduate and medical studies at the esteemed University of Wisconsin in Madison. Dr. Stauss values having access to a wide array of cutting-edge treatment options, ensuring effective relief for his patients' discomfort and a significant enhancement in their quality of life. More specifically, he specializes in utilizing implanted devices to manage chronic pain. Dr. Stauss’s primary objective is to uphold the dignity of each patient while delivering ethical and professional services.

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