You or someone you know has likely complained of a “thrown out back” at some point. This is a fairly broad term that can be used to describe a range of conditions affecting the spine. From a back strain or sprain to muscle spasms to serious degenerative conditions, back pain can have a variety of causes and getting the right treatment is dependent on getting the right diagnosis.
A thrown out back often describes acute back pain, which is pain that occurs suddenly and lasts for a relatively short period of time. People battling chronic conditions such as spinal arthritis, degenerative disc disease, or a herniated disc are more likely to experience persistent spine pain that lasts for weeks or months at a time.
Some of the most common causes of acute back pain associated with a thrown out back include:
- Muscle strain – overstretching or tearing of one of the muscles in the back; often the result of overexertion, a sports injury, or an auto accident
- Ligament sprain – overstretching or tearing of a ligament in the back; most often occurs in the lower back (lumbar spine) due to the large amount of weight this area supports
- Muscle spasm – a sudden and intense feeling of pain or cramping in a group of muscles in the spine, usually due to injury such as a sprain or strain
- Sudden disc rupture – prolonged overexertion or sudden injury can cause one of the intervertebral discs of the spine to tear, which may lead to compression of the surrounding spinal nerves and severe pain
Symptoms of a Thrown Out Back
A thrown out back will affect everyone differently and will depend largely on the underlying cause. Discomfort may take the form of:
- Inability to fully bend or twist from the spine
- Intense, localized pain in one part of the back
- Numbness or a tingling sensation in the back or extremities
- Radiating pain that moves down the back and into the legs
- Spinal muscle weakness
Treatment for a Thrown Out Back
Getting the right treatment for a thrown out back depends on the right diagnosis. At Physician Partners of America, our expert team of doctors and medical professionals have experience diagnosing may types of back pain. If you have thrown out your back due to a sprain or strain, we can prescribe medication and a self-care plan that can help relieve your pain and get you back to living your busy life. If a physical exam and imaging tests reveal that a more serious underlying issue is causing your back pain, we can refer you to the right specialists.
Don’t spend another day battling with your thrown out back. Instead, get immediate treatment at our walk-in clinics.