Back injuries can happen to anyone and the symptoms can present in people in many different ways. The longevity of pain and restricted movement depends, not only on the general health of each person, but also on the site, cause and treatment of the damage.
Common back injuries and their causes
An injury to any part of the back - tendons, muscles, ligaments, bones, discs – can range from causing mild discomfort to severely impacting your quality of life. That’s why it’s important to understand the sort of back injury you have, how best to treat it, and how to prevent further trauma to the area.
Sprains and Strains
Muscle and ligament sprains are the most common forms of back injury. Strains to a muscle, or groups of muscles, are actually small tears which results in swelling and spasms. These tiny tears happen when muscles are overstretched or tighten too strongly.
Back strain generally occurs after a sudden movement (twisting, bending, lifting) or unexpected use of muscles when they haven’t been warmed up. Using correct lifting techniques can help you avoid back strains or injuries.
Ruptures, fractures and dislocations
Compressed nerve roots near the cervical vertebrae can cause pain, weakness, and loss of sensation in the neck, arms, or shoulders. In older people, this is most commonly due to degenerative changes around the discs of the spine, while younger people suffer from it as a result of a rupture in a disc.
A fracture or dislocation of the spine can cause a spinal cord injury. Total immobilisation is required in the case of suspected spinal injury. A medical professional should be consulted immediately, and proper transportation should be arranged in order to reduce the risk of permanent paralysis.
Tips for treatment of a back injury
Pain is your body’s way of telling you that you are injured and need to treat and rest the affected area. Many injuries can actually repair themselves, given the right treatment and proper rest.
In the case of strains and sprains, a combination, the following can be useful:
- Complete rest from use
- Hot compression
- Cold packs
- Massage and realignment
- Gentle stretching
- Strengthening of the affected area
Elastoplast products which can be used to aid back injury treatments:
Elastoplast's Spiral Heat Patch is ideal for relieving tight and cramped muscles of the back. Delivering eight hours of soothing heat, it relieves muscle pain and activates blood circulation at the site of application.
Elastoplast ABC Heat Plaster provides sustained, intense heat, while providing temporary relief from pain. It is ideal for treating lower back pain.
Elastoplast Sport Adjustable Back Stabiliser provides support particularly to the lumbar (lower area) region of the back.
Treatment of a severe back injury
Continued severe pain, or problems with other areas of your body, such as incontinence or numbness, weakness, or paralysis in one or both limbs, suggests a medical issue which may require an X-ray, CT scan or MRI scan. If you experience any of these symptoms, please consult a medical professional.