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Back Injury

Back injuries are the most common of the problems discussed on this site. All spine injuries can vary from mild to severe. Some of this variation can be explained by how the injury happened, but sometimes it is not obvious why one person has a mild injury, and another person has a severe injury. Age is definitely important; older people tend to have worse and more lasting injuries. This is because older spines are less elastic, and our spines gradually loose their shock absorbing capabilities as we age.

A car crash is a strong force applied to the body, and often results in a significant spinal injury to any part of the spine. A mild injury can result in pain and many problems, a more severe force applied will result in obvious disk damage, and yet more force will break bones.

Usually, an injury from simple lifting will be milder than a car crash. Simple lifting injury does not mean someone who suddenly had a shift in a large amount of weight they are lifting. Simple lifting means shoveling snow, or just lifting something the wrong way.

Not all injuries are the same. Correctly identifying what is injured will always help in planning the right treatment. How the injury happened is only one piece of figuring out the problem. Old injuries, and other health problems, can change what is happening now. Treatment can be different for different people, even with the same type of injury. Ask questions of your treating provider, but don't think that something that worked for your friend will always work for you. Some people may have different sensitivity to medication, to heat and cold treatments, or even to surgery.

Read about Spasm and Muscle Knots

Read about Exercise in Injury

Many real back injuries are mild enough that the person recovers in a few days, with no treatment or any treatment. It is hard to tell if your injury is that mild when it starts. If the pain is significant after three days you definitely should be evaluated. Also, complete rest usually should be limited to three days.

Be aware no type of treatment always works. Always be cautious with anyone who claims to be able to bring everyone to 100% of where they were before they were hurt.

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Last modified: Fri, 17 Jun 2005

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