You wouldn’t think of revving up a cold engine after your car has been on the blocks for months. The same principal applies to the modern couch potato after hibernating in front of the TV all winter. Back injuries can occur when warm weather arrives and we shift into high gear or even train for the London Marathon!
Armed with information and a few health tips, London Back Pain injuries are preventable.
The most common injuries
The most common back injury is the sprain—called a paraspinal muscle sprain—similar to what you might sustain in a lower extremity like pulling a hamstring. This happens when there is too much stress, too quickly—and the back muscles and other soft tissue fail to support the back. A classic example of this occurs when doing heavy lifting, i.e. gardening or snow shovelling. (Other common causes of back injuries are caused by pre-existing degenerative disc disease and osteoporosis).
The onset of pain is immediate, intense, and usually will stop you in your tracks. This pain, however, does improve over days or weeks after the inflammation calms down.
How do I know when it’s bad?
When there is a back injury, delicate spinal nerve tissue also can become involved. Typical back sprains—including degenerative disc flare-up—are not accompanied by neurological symptoms in the extremities.
Consult a doctor or your chiropractor when there is any neck or back injury that is accompanied by other symptoms such as weakness, numbness, and severe radiating pain into the extremities.
What to do?
Stay away from pain in the first place – tips for prevention
- Make sure your weight is in a healthy range.
- Keep moving. A dedicated back strengthening exercise program can easily be performed at home. Abdominal muscles also help support the back so don’t neglect your core.
- Learn appropriate lifting techniques for heavy objects. When lifting, a rule of thumb is to keep heavier objects closer to the body—rather than away from it—to decrease the load on your spine.
- If you are a smoker, stop. Join a smoking cessation program or consult your physician.
If you have concerns about back pain or an injury, always consult your doctor or chiropractor.