Ouch! You’ve injured your back, but is it just strained or is it more serious?
Should you see a doctor, or just rest and allow your spouse to bring you lemonade and licorice for awhile?
A back injury is Overland Park’s most common reason for missed work.
Overland Park: How to Know if Your Back Injury is Serious
1. You have notable pain or swelling.
With a significant back injury, some swelling is expected, but if you feel anything more than minor pain or experience more than a little swelling, you need to see your doctor. Pain that disrupts your sleep, or hurts enough that you aren’t able to perform basic twists and turns during normal, daily activities needs to be examined by a medical professional.
Studies show that leaving a serious injury untreated for too long increases your recovery time. In fact, the sooner you undergo back injury treatment, the quicker your body can heal.
2. You can’t stand or walk without severe pain.
If you experience pain by simply standing up to walk or lifting your arms above your head, or if you feel numbness or tingling or pain that radiates down your legs or arms, you may have a back injury that is affecting your nerves as they exit your spinal column.
This is called a subluxation. A subluxation occurs when the vertebrae in your spine become misaligned or the joints in your spine become partially dislocated. When this occurs, the vertebrae often pinch or irritate a nerve, causing pain and swelling.
3. You aren’t able to turn or move the affected joint.
If pain or swelling has made your back unusable, and instead of bending at your waist, you’re moving your whole body like a robot when you turn around, it could be a sign that you’ve experienced more than just an irritated muscle. Play it safe and call your chiropractor.
Many sprains and strains can be treated with ice. This helps to reduce swelling and provides some relief to minor muscle irritations, but when you experience a rare – more painful – back injury, it’s essential that you seek the care of a medical professional as soon as possible to examine your injury and provide you with a treatment plan.
Additional Warning Signs:
- lumps or bumps in your back (not swelling)
- serious pain with walking
- redness or streaks across your back
If you experience any of these symptoms, do not wait to see your doctor, you should seek medical attention immediately. Many chiropractors offer emergency services.
What are the Most Effective Back Injury Treatment Options?
Chiropractors specialize in treating back injuries related to your musculoskeletal system. After a thorough examination and X-rays, they restore motion to joints in your spine that are locked-up or fixated through chiropractic adjustments and physiotherapy.
Occasionally, your chiropractor may request an MRI to examine the tissues surrounding your injury. Our Overland Park chiropractors work closely with several local MRI groups, so our patients can get in right away.
Your Road to Healing
Following treatment, give your body plenty of time to heal before returning to your normal daily activities. Your chiropractor may prescribe specific exercises to strengthen the muscles in your back, speeding up your healing and preventing a back injury in the future.