I Threw Out My Back – Now What?

Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi

Threw My Back Out

You’ve probably heard someone say “I threw out my back,” but what does it really mean to throw out your back? Is there a specific injury associated with throwing out your back, or is it just a phrase people use to talk about nonspecific spine pain? What can you do to treat the problem if you threw out your back? We answer all those questions in today’s blog.

What Does It Mean To Throw Out Your Back?

While “throwing out your back” isn’t categorized by one specific injury, it’s generally used to describe a spinal condition that causes mild or major pain, or an injury that restricts normal movement. You probably wouldn’t use the phrase if you just pulled a muscle in your back, as it’s generally reserved for more serious and debilitating injuries. Some people use the phrase to describe any type of back pain, but if someone calls the office and says they threw out their back, we generally expect a slightly more serious condition, like:

We’ve also found that “throwing out your back” is generally associated with an acute moment of injury. You usually don’t wake up in the morning with a “thrown out back.” Instead, most people can pinpoint a moment of injury, like when they were lifting a heavy box or while playing sports or while sneezing.

Treatment Options For A Thrown Out Back

Since there is no specific injury associated with throwing out your back, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all treatment option. Instead, treatment is focused on whatever actual injury is causing your pain. Your doctor will be able to give you specific instructions, but in general, many of the above conditions respond well to the following conservative treatment options.

  • Rest – Short-term rest, like giving your back a few days off of hard labor, can help alleviate spine pain.
  • Exercise – After a couple of days, exercise is actually better than rest because it helps to strengthen injured structures.
  • Physical Therapy/Stretching – These activities target the exact areas in your spine causing trouble, and they can help to free compressed structures or strengthen injured areas.
  • Anti-Inflammatories – Over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications can help to combat regular pain caused by your back injury.
  • Hydrate – Dehydration can lead to muscle cramps or inadequate blood flow to areas that need as much healthy blood as they can get.

So in the end, while there’s no specific injury associated with throwing out your back, oftentimes it involves a disc or nerve issue that can be managed with hands-on conservative care so long as you figure out exactly what’s causing your pain. To get to the bottom of your pain, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi today.

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