How to treat back strain and other spine problems

Back strains and back spasms can be as painful as spine issues like a herniated disc. The main distinction is that a back strain is an injury to a muscle, while a herniated disc is an injury to the structure of the spine. While you could develop a back strain while compensating for the pain of a herniated disc, the two types of injuries are otherwise completely unrelated. For this reason, there are many differences in how one would treat a spine problem versus how to treat back strain or back spasms.

Treating a back strain

A back strain is a term for an injury to a muscle in the back. It results from the tearing or undue stretching of the muscle fibers due to improper lifting techniques or sudden or uncontrolled movement. Pain is a result of inflammation that develops in response to the injury; in other words, the pain is a signal of the muscle injury itself as opposed to referred pain due to nerve compression or irritation. Even for minor injuries it is still recommended to consult with your primary care doctor for treatment advice. Appropriate treatment for a back strain — or for back spasms — includes:

  • Use of pain medication or anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Application of cold and/or heat to reduce pain and swelling
  • Short periods of rest if movement is too painful
  • Physical therapy exercises

These treatment options are common for all back pain, as even conditions such as a herniated disc will often respond well to them. Back strains will often be completely healed in a matter of weeks if treated properly. If your back strain does not heal, it could signal something more serious and you should schedule a visit with your doctor for diagnosis and more involved treatment.

Treating spine conditions

Upon diagnosis of a spine condition, such as a herniated disc or spinal arthritis, as the cause of back pain, most doctors will recommend the continuation of basic conservative treatment. If that fails to provide relief after several weeks or months and your doctor thinks surgery might help, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn about our minimally invasive spine surgery.

Our minimally invasive decompression, and in more severe cases, stabilization procedures, treat the root causes of back pain and other symptoms related to a degenerative spine condition. These procedures are often the clinically appropriate first choice when compared to traditional open spine surgery.

Contact us today for more information and to receive a no-cost review of your MRI report or CT scan* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.