At the Spine Institute of North America, we know all about back injuries.

Unfortunately, injuries happen all too often. The spine is an incredibly tough structure, but in order for it to function correctly, all the pieces need to be in the correct place. The instant even one gets out of alignment, you can end up having issues. Everything is made more complex by the fact that , because the spinal cord branches out to the tips of your fingers and toes, the issues can manifest themselves far away from the spine itself. Pins and needles in your foot can mean something is wrong with your lumbar vertebrae!

In today’s blog, we want to discuss one of the most common back injuries we encounter. We hope that this knowledge will help you avoid it!

Lower Back Sprain

If you experience a lower back sprain, the issue is probably located in the tendons and muscles that stabilize the lumbar (lower) spine.

You’ll probably experience the following symptoms:

  • Muscle spasms in your lower back
  • Painful motion and stretching
  • Swelling along the muscles
  • Calcification of tendons and muscles

How did the sprain happen?

  • You lifted a heavy object the wrong way
  • You are obese
  • You experienced a violent force or injury
  • You injured your back before
  • You don’t exercise your back muscles enough

How can I prevent this from happening to me?

  • Warm up right when you know you’re going to be lifting something heavy
  • Lift with your legs, not your back
  • If you know you are vulnerable to back sprains, use the right support and avoid weight-bearing activities
  • Stay active so you can maintain muscle tone and balance around your spine.

What if I sprain my lower back? What can I do?

  • Stop doing whatever caused the pain. We can’t say how many times people keep going, and it makes everything so much worse!
  • Lie on your back with your knees bent to put your spine into a good position.
  • Apply RICE – Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. Ice can be applied three to four times a day, but not for more than 15 minutes at a time.
  • A firm mattress will help you out the first few days after the injury.
  • Massage the area gently; this will decrease swelling.
  • If the pain doesn’t subside after a week or so, make an appointment with the Spine Institute of North America.

You don’t realize just how integral your back is to everything until it gets injured. Back issues can end up shrinking your life down to a fraction of what it once was. The good news is, the team at the Spine Institute of North America has the experience and knowledge to pinpoint issues and provide phenomenal relief. The field of minimally invasive spine surgery has allowed us to use small incisions to treat issues that used to require open-back surgery. That means we can solve issues for you without launching you into months and months of painful recovery.

Contact our office in New Jersey to learn more about what we can do for you!