Around 80% of people will experience back pain in their life. This could be for various reasons, such as surgery, injury, or age.

Throwing out your back is also a common occurrence, and it happens to 90% of people. If you threw out your back, it could be a serious problem, and there are steps to take to ensure that further injury doesn’t happen.

What Does it Mean to Throw Out Your Back?

Throwing out your back is a term used to describe what happens when the muscles in your back have been strained. This happens due to lifting a heavy object incorrectly, overworking, stretching too far or awkwardly, and improper posture.

While the muscles in your back take the brunt of the pain, damage to blood vessels, tissues, or ligaments occur as well. Usually, the problem happens in the lower back.

Symptoms of Throwing Out Your Back

When you throw out your back, it can be excruciatingly painful, but there are other symptoms to watch for as well.

  • Stiffness
  • Inability to move
  • Tightening of the muscles
  • Pain
  • Muscle spasms

Typically the pain shouldn’t last for more than 10-14 days, but if it does, check with your doctor to make sure there’s no serious damage.

What to Do When Your Back Goes Out

Experiencing back pain can be debilitating, and you’ll want to be back on your feet soon. To do that, there are steps to take to make sure your back heals and you’re back to normal.

1. Get Rest

One of the best things you can do when you throw out your back is to rest so the muscles have time to recover. Use pillows to support your back to reduce the strain on your muscles.

Lying flat on your back is the ideal position, but do so on a hard surface.

2. Treat The Pain

It’s hard to rest when you’re in so much pain. Treating the pain so you can get adequate rest is important and can be accomplished in a few different ways.

Try applying ice packs locally for up to 20 minutes. Taking over-the-counter medicine like ibuprofen reduces inflammation and can make you more comfortable as you rest. Applying heat can also have the same effect.

3. Exercise

Exercise might seem like the last thing you want to do when you’ve thrown out your back, but easing back into exercising keeps the muscles working. If you don’t move at all, your muscles may become weak or stiff.

After a couple of days of rest, slowly begin going back into your normal activities, but only do what you’re comfortable with. Start by doing some gentle stretching for short periods. Refrain from doing any sort of heavy lifting, twisting, or other intense physical activity until you’re back to normal.

Even after you’ve started feeling better, it’s important to take it easy, and if you start to feel discomfort, rest!

4. See A Doctor

If your pain is persistent or is not responding to OTC medications, visit your doctor to see if there is a large problem at play.

Here are some reasons you might consider seeing a doctor:

  • Inability to stand
  • Numbness
  • Fever
  • Abnormal bowel movements

Your doctor may prescribe different treatments to get you back on your feet or may order x-rays, CT scan, or MRI. They may also suggest steroids, stronger pain medications, more rest, or physical therapy.

5. Visit A Chiropractor or A Massage Therapist

Chiropractors work to keep the body aligned by adjusting the spine. If your back is bothering you a chiropractor can apply some adjustments to get you back in shape and ease your pain.

A massage therapist can give you a massage to help alleviate some of the tensions from the pulled or strained muscles.

Tips For A Healthy Back

While throwing out your back can put a temporary dent in your life, there are ways to try and prevent back problems.

Regular exercise is one of the best ways to keep your back strong. Building muscles in both your core and your back will continue to give you support and strength. Incorporating stretching techniques like yoga or pilates increases your flexibility.

Since heavy lifting is a large reason why people throw out their back, take precautions if you’re going to be doing a lot of lifting to avoid injury. You can wear protective gear like a brace or a belt that supports your back and your core. Investing in one of these is a smart idea if you do frequent heavy lifting or have back problems.

Learn and use correct ways to lift heavy objects. Always bend at the knees and keep a straight back when lifting, and never use your back to take the brunt of the weight. Awkward twisting or moving paves the way for more injury.

Recovering From A Thrown-Out Back

The good news is that the majority of the time people who throw out their back will make a complete recovery within a few weeks. With proper rest and treatment, you should be able to return to normal activities.

If your doctor prescribes any treatments, be sure to follow through on them and follow up with your doctor when necessary.

Don’t Stay in Pain

Throwing out your back is painful and bothersome, so make sure to take the correct steps so that you don’t have to suffer for long.

Are you looking for expert chiropractic care in Lexington? Our team can answer all your questions. Contact us today to set up an appointment!