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What happens when you throw out your back: What to Do When You Throw Your Back Out

What to Do When You Throw Your Back Out

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As a major support structure for your body, your back needs to be in good condition for you to complete most everyday tasks. When you throw your back out, you can suddenly and unexpectedly experience acute pain and find your mobility severely limited.

As we age, the cumulative wear and tear on our backs can leave us more susceptible to injury. Preventing and quickly treating back injuries is critical to keep your body healthy and moving well into your advanced years. It is important to discuss any serious back pain or unexpected symptoms with an orthopaedic spine specialist to avoid exacerbating an injury or causing permanent damage.

How do you throw your back out?

Throwing out your back generally means you have temporarily pulled or sprained a muscle in your back, often in the lumbar region. There are numerous ways in which you can throw your back out, including:

  • Twisting your back
  • Lifting heavy objects
  • Over-extension while stretching
  • Poor posture
  • Lack of proper back support for long periods of time
  • Bodily stress or impact from sports

Muscle sprains are the primary cause of the pain of a thrown-out back. Discomfort can also occur when other structural parts of the back are damaged, such as blood vessels, ligaments and tendons.

What does it feel like when you throw your back out?

When the strained muscle in your back causes a spasm, you will often feel acute pain immediately following the injury. Pain intensity can range from minor to severe and is usually localized around the lumbar area. Many who suffer a thrown-out back lose range of motion and develop a hunched posture. Consistent pain, stiffness and muscle spasms are common symptoms.

With swift treatment at home, thrown-out backs may heal on their own within several days or up to two weeks. However, if you develop certain symptoms, immediate medical attention is often necessary to properly treat the injury.

How do you treat a back sprain at home?

The most important thing to do immediately following a back injury is rest. Resting will allow your body to heal, reduce inflammation and enhance the effectiveness of other remedies. Depending on the severity of the sprain, you may need to rest several days before integrating certain everyday activities back into your routine. 

Lie down flat on your stomach on a hard surface with your hands to your side. Relax your body to allow your tight back muscles to soften and release pressure around the nerves. Apply covered ice packs to the affected area in 10- to 15-minute intervals to reduce swelling and radiating pain.

Additional treatment options to consider:

  • Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories such as Aleve and ibuprofen reduce swelling and provide pain relief.
  • Sleeping on your back provides support and reduces the risk of agitating the sprain.
  • Spine-specific physical therapy can help reduce pain and strengthen muscles that support the spine
  • Massage may help ease acute low back pain, reduce stiffness and stimulate blood flow.

Although initial rest is critical to the healing process when you throw your back out, staying active when the pain subsides and gradually resuming movement is equally important. Light, continuous movement and slow stretching enhance blood flow, restore motion and prevent stiffness. Avoid movements that could normally result in a back injury, like twisting or lifting heavy objects.

When should I see a doctor about my back pain?

A thrown-out back is most often due to a temporary muscle sprain, but more serious conditions can result in similar pain. Serious injuries can include herniated disks or muscular tears that may require medical intervention for a full recovery. A thrown-out back can also indicate other concerning medical issues, such as arthritis, kidney stones, osteoporosis and even certain forms of cancer.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, seek immediate medical care:

  • Pain or numbness in the legs
  • Bowel or bladder control problems
  • Fever, chills or other signs of illness
  • Intense, enduring pain that limits your ability to perform simple tasks
  • Persistent pain that lasts for longer than a week 

Your orthopaedic spine specialist will ask you about symptoms and possibly take X-rays, a CT scan or MRI to assess the extent of the injury and recommend treatment options for back pain.  

How can you prevent back sprains?

Staying active is essential to avoiding back injuries. Engage in regular aerobic activities and stretching exercises to build strength, endurance and flexibility. Staying active also helps you decrease excess weight, which is a major risk factor for back injuries. Pay attention to proper posture both standing and sitting. Move safety by employing proper mechanics when lifting objects and performing sudden movements.

Seeking treatment when you throw your back out

Back injuries can be seriously crippling in the moment, but they do not have to be worrisome if you take the right steps to resolve them. If you throw out your back, be patient the recovery process and don’t hesitate to reach out for medical attention. Contact the orthopaedic spine specialists at Cary Orthopaedics for a appointment in Cary, Holly Springs or Morrisville. 


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What Happens When You Throw Your Back Out?

Back pain is one of the most common reasons why millions of people visit the doctor each year. You may have heard the expression, “I threw my back out,” and wondered what exactly that meant. Actually, throwing out your back refers to a sudden instance where you experience immediate lower back pain. Throwing out your back can cause such strong pain that you may wonder whether you should see a doctor right away. When you throw your back out, it can keep you from doing simple daily movements like moving from sitting to standing without significant pain. Here’s what you need to know about what happens when you throw your back out.

Symptoms of Throwing Out Your Back

Your body’s first and immediate response to throwing out your back is typically severe pain in your lower back. This may also be accompanied by muscle spasms, where your back muscles that typically help support and stabilize your spine tense and tighten. If you think you have thrown out your back, you may start to feel like your back is stiff and simple twists or stretches leave you feeling achy and may even increase your pain.

How You Can Throw Your Back Out

The most common ways people have thrown their back out include movements after a long, hard day of work or sudden movements that surprise and aggravate your back.


You may have heard someone say they threw their back out while moving and trying to lift heavy furniture. Lifting something heavy without proper posture can put too much pressure on your lower back and damage the muscles in your lower back.


A sudden twisting motion can also cause you to throw out your back. If you don’t properly warm up your muscles and stretch before playing a sport, for example, you risk damaging your back. The twisting motion your body makes to swing a golf club or tennis racket can cause you to throw out your back.

Poor Posture

Poor posture can lead to the weakening of muscles and ligaments that help support your spine. As these soft tissues become weaker, they are more susceptible to injuries like muscle tears or spinal injuries. Poor posture while performing physical tasks like lifting heavy objects or playing a sport can also cause you to throw out your back.

Diagnosing Your Lower Back Pain

People can often identify the activity or movement that led to the sudden pain of throwing out their backs. When you visit your orthopedic doctor, they will want to know about your symptoms, like when you first noticed them and what causes those symptoms to get better or worse. Your doctor may also want to run a diagnostic imaging test like an X-ray or CT scan on your lower back to determine if you’ve thrown out your back. Pain, tingling, and numbness can also be due to issues with the nerves that run along your spine, so your doctor may also want to run additional tests to rule out other potential issues or injuries.

Treatment Options After You Throw Your Back Out

The best thing you can do right after throwing out your back is to rest. A back injury can cause inflammation in the area, and one of the best and most natural ways to help decrease swelling and inflammation is to rest and avoid activities that put too much stress on your body. You may also try applying an ice pack or cold compress to your lower back to help with any inflammation in the area. A warm compress or heating pad can also help your muscles to relax and soothe any stiffness in your back. You may need to adjust how you sit and sleep, like by propping yourself up with pillows for better support. Special pillows and supports can help to take pressure off of your aching back while it heals.

For severe lower back pain, visit an orthopedic doctor to learn more about your treatment options. AICA Orthopedics has a team of multi-specialty doctors, including orthopedic doctors, chiropractors, neurologists, and physical therapists who can help you after you’ve thrown your back out. Visit us online to find a location near you and start experiencing lasting pain relief with one of our highly knowledgeable and skilled doctors today!

Category: Chiropractic

Rip off your back? Do not sleep on hard, do not warm with ointments

Komsomolskaya Pravda

Search results often we treat a bad back incorrectly. A specialist explains how to recover competently after the shock work in May at the dacha

Forget your favorite pose of the summer resident: bend over the bed with your head down, fifth point up Photo: Vladimir VELENGURIN

What will help to quickly put the spine and muscles in order, say an orthopedic traumatologist, Ph.D. Islam Shakhabov and neurologist Galina Stroeva.


1. Do not unbend – do not turn around, the whole back hurts. You overstrained your muscles, or a slight displacement of the vertebrae occurred from excessive loads.

What to do? Give the muscles peace: do not make sudden movements, put aside shovels and buckets, lie down. It is harmful to sit for a long time with a sore back – this position strains the already strained muscles too much. Anti-inflammatory drugs will help relieve pain. The most popular ones are based on ibuprofen (nurofen, brufen), but they have a bad effect on the stomach, they should not be drunk on an empty stomach; or based on nimesulide (nise, nimesulide-teva). If the pain is severe, it is better to use both tablets and ointments together. Only one “mazilka” will not help, because the focus of inflammation can be deep.

Pain in the back – unable to unbend or turn around. Photo: Nail VALIULIN

2. Sharp pain in the lower back . It can last half an hour or several days. It usually occurs if you suddenly lift something very heavy or turn around unsuccessfully. In this case, the pain is given to the buttock, thigh, and the most alarming – if it descends below the knee or even to the toes. This is the so-called radicular syndrome (aka lumbago, sciatica, sciatica).

What to do? Massage and attempts to “set” something are simply dangerous and can lead to severe nerve injury. You need to fix your lower back. In this case, it would be good to buy a corset for the back and wear it during hard work. If it is not there, tightly tie a towel or scarf around your lower back, but not woolen. It is undesirable to warm the muscles, warming ointments will only cause a rush of blood to the inflamed area and can do harm. Additionally, test your condition – try walking on your toes or on your heels. It doesn’t work, does weakness in the foot interfere or do you not feel your leg at all? So, urgently see a doctor. If this process is started, then you can bring the leg to paresis (paralysis).

Sharp pain in the lower back. Photo: Nail VALIULIN

3. Drawing aching pain in the lower back on one side only. Perhaps you trusted the treacherous May sun too much, and you were blown away in a draft. A muscle heated up by work becomes inflamed in the cold, causing pain and stiffness of movements. Sometimes the temperature rises to 37.5 degrees.

What to do? If the muscles hurt due to hypothermia, then the sore spot can be rubbed with an anti-inflammatory ointment.

Drawing aching pain on one side. Photo: Nail VALIULIN


– Contrary to myths, a bed with a sore back should not be too hard. Our backs are not perfect: some have kyphosis, some have too smooth curves, others are arched. So if you lie down to sleep on the floor or on boards with a sore back, this will not bring any benefit to your back. But too soft lush mattresses are contraindicated: the lower back should not fall through.

– For back pain, do not use warming ointments (unless it is clearly windy). When rubbing a spasmodic muscle with such an ointment, blood flow occurs, tissue swelling increases, along with pain. Cold is best for muscles affected by shock work. The easiest option is to put pieces of ice from the refrigerator in a bag, wrap it with a thick towel and apply such a compress for 10-15 minutes to a sore spot.


Basic Rules for a Healthy Back

– Start with light work to warm up your muscles – it’s like warming up for athletes.

– Do not lift weights jerkily or in a bent position – in this case, the load on the lower spine increases many times over, which can lead to displacement of the vertebrae and the formation of a herniated disc. Lift heavy buckets, bags with a straight back, crouching slightly so that the load falls on the entire back and legs. In the same way, weights should be lowered to the ground.

– Avoid twisting movements: when the legs are in place, and only the body turns. If you take something out of the trunk, step your feet in the direction of the load. If you are digging a garden, throw the earth from the shovel to the side, and not sharply behind your back. With each movement of the shovel up, straighten your back completely.

– Forget the gardener’s favorite position: bend over the bed with your head down, fifth point up. So you can “wake up” the radicular syndrome (sciatica – inflammation or “clamp” of the nerves in the lower back). To work in the garden, get a low bench, in extreme cases, you can work on all fours.

– Good work makes you hot, but don’t rush to take off your sweaters and T-shirts – even a slight breeze can cause hypothermia and muscle inflammation. It is better to put on something light immediately before work, so as not to sweat or freeze.

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what to do at home, how to cure

Every person who is engaged in hard physical labor is very familiar with the condition called “torn off his back in the lower back.” This definition means damage to the muscles and other tissues of the back that are located near the spine, which leads to severe pain and even the inability to continue working.

How to break your back

“I broke my back, my lower back hurts, what should I do?” – women often lament, and men often find themselves in a similar situation. The most common case in which it is very easy to tear your back is lifting weights. The usual warm-up helps to reduce the likelihood of such an unpleasant event, when the back muscles warm up and begin to work better.

Signs and symptoms

Unfortunately, not every woman immediately after the incident is puzzled by the question of what to do if she tore her back and her lower back hurts; what can we say about men who often endure pain for weeks. However, this condition is dangerous and requires timely medical intervention. Symptoms of rupture or stretching of muscles and ligaments are the following manifestations:

  • pain constantly reminiscent of itself – pulling, cutting, aching, shooting, etc.;
  • fails to fully straighten;
  • your legs feel numb or weak;
  • have problems with the gastrointestinal tract, bladder or genital area;
  • pain from the lower back radiates to the legs.
  • If a person tore off his lower back, what to do in such a situation can be determined by his condition. In the case of mild pain, it is concluded that the muscles are stretched, but with swelling and the manifestation of other symptoms, it is quite possible that there is a dislocation of the vertebra or even a rupture of the ligaments.


    The first thing to do if you tore off your lower back is to consult a doctor. He will ask you a series of questions about your condition to determine:

  • under what conditions did you break your back;
  • what is the nature of the pain;
  • do you feel numb;
  • if there are any other signs, etc.
  • Based on the results of the interview, an ultrasound, X-ray or MRI will be scheduled, if necessary.

    What to do if you tore your lower back

    It is important to understand what to do at home if you tore off your lower back, and also what should be the first actions after the incident. This will help alleviate the condition and speed up recovery.

    First Aid

    If suddenly such a nuisance as a back strain occurs with your loved one or you, regardless of the reasons, you need to follow a strict algorithm. Namely:

  • the victim should lie on his back on a flat hard surface;
  • an ointment with an anesthetic effect should be applied to the sore spot: Diclofenac, Ketonal, Nise and the like are well suited;
  • never heat your back, as this can cause the inflammation to spread outwards;
  • call an ambulance.
  • If you do not know what to do if you suddenly tore your back in the lower back, and at the same time you (or another injured person) experience severe sharp pain, it is important to call an ambulance as soon as possible and see a doctor.

    Medical treatment

    There are many options for medicines, the use of which is indicated if the lower back hurts when the back is torn off. In general, doctors prescribe, based on the results of the examination, anti-inflammatory ointments on the back in the lumbar region such as Diclofenac and the like. In some cases, you may need to take the drug “Meloxicam” or “Omeprazole” in tablets, and to relieve muscle spasm – “Mydocalm”. However, it should be understood that the treatment in each case will be individual.


    If you do not know how to be treated, if you tore off your lower back, you may also be prescribed a massage. This is beneficial because the massage improves blood circulation in the lumbar region and back in general. However, massage should be done by a qualified specialist with a medical education, since it is he who knows what movements should be performed during massage so that the process does not cause pain and discomfort and has the desired effect.

    Which doctor to contact

    Sometimes it is impossible to cure a torn lower back at home, and you need to go to the hospital. For example, if you feel numbness or weakness in your legs, a neurologist or vertebrologist can help you. But if you only have back pain, it is best to see a therapist first, and he will decide which specialist to visit.

    Prevention (how to prevent back slip)

    In order not to tear your back and not experience unpleasant pain in the lower back, it is important to exclude the possibility of injury. Do not lift too heavy things alone, and if it becomes necessary to move the load, be sure to do a warm-up first. Warm muscles will work much better, and the risk of pulling your back will be significantly reduced. It is also recommended to lead a healthy lifestyle and do not neglect moderate physical exercises – this will allow the muscles of your body to be in good shape, and you will not get injured even with significant loads.

    You can make an appointment with specialists online , as well as by phone 8 (812) 901-03-03.

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