Causes of Back Injuries
Back injuries, while not as common as other sports injuries, can be very serious and can lead to other injuries if not treated carefully. Back injuries can be caused by improper form when exercising or playing sports, overexertion, impact, or carrying tension in the muscles of the back.
Sprains and Strains
Some of the most frequent back injuries, sprains and strains occur when the muscles of the back are overexerted, overextended, or pulled. This is usually caused by heavy lifting, or torsion and is more likely to occur if the muscles are already tense or inflexible. Sprains and strains are micro tears in the muscles and cause symptoms such as pain, swelling, inflexibility and muscle spasms. It’s important to stretch adequately before activity and maintain proper form throughout in order to avoid back strains and sprains.
Ligaments are the tissues that connect your muscles and bones together. Ligament injuries in the back are very similar to muscle strains and sprains. They too can be caused by poor form when lifting, torsion, slipping and falling, or other sudden movements or trauma on the back. Symptoms are similar as well. It’s important to maintain proper posture when doing activity and take care to avoid ligament damage.
Fractures are the most serious of back injuries, involving the breaking of one or more of the vertebrae in the spine. Spinal fractures are so serious because they often cause irreparable damage to the nerves in the spinal cord which may lead to permanent paralysis. Spinal fractures usually occur from either impact or severe stress.
Treatments for Back Injuries
Treatment for back injury can range from simple rest and icing for minor strains to extensive physical therapy for spinal injuries. In our office, we emphasize treatments for minor to moderate back injuries that promote self-healing, helping our patients avoid invasive surgeries that carry high risk and high price tags.
We frequently use massage therapy to facilitate healing in strain and sprain injuries. This helps relax the muscles allowing them to release tension and start the healing process. In other cases we use treatments including:
- Stem cell therapy
- Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields (PEMF) therapy
- Chiropractic adjustments.