Back pain can come from multiple different sources and can occur for a number of different reasons. There are many structures in your low back that may contribute to various symptoms. Your low back consists of muscles, ligaments, cartilage, lumbar discs, vertebrae, and nerves. These structures can all be sources of back pain. Luckily, these are all things that physical therapy can address.
How Can I Tell if My Back injury is Serious?
Injuring your back can be very painful and life-changing because your spinal cord and important nerves are located there. However, most of the time, low back pain is not serious and will not require surgery. Here are indications that your back injury is serious and may require further medical professional help.
- A traumatic car accident or a fall from > 5 feet
- Difficulty walking due to weakness in one or both legs
- Numbness or tingling in BOTH legs
- Abnormal changes in urination or defecation after the injury
- The pain is severe and accompanied by one or all of the above
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above and are worried about your low back pain being severe, please do not hesitate to go to an urgent care center or emergency room.
Symptoms of a Less Serious Back Injury
In the event of a less serious injury, symptoms can present like:
- Back pain/soreness on one or both sides of the spine
- Leg or foot numbness/tingling
- Pain/tenderness around the hip or buttock
- Back pain described as dull, achy, tight, or stiff
How Can Physical Therapy be Beneficial for My Pain?
- Strengthen the muscles designed to absorb the load/stress on your back
- Address and improve postural impairments during work and ADLs (Activities of Daily Living)
- Improve limits in range of motion through soft tissue mobilization and joint glides
- Improve your ability to self manage your symptoms at home to prevent re-injury