Most of the injuries we sustain from slips and falls involve the deep muscles of our backs. Losing your balance on a slick or icy surface triggers a reflex to prevent you from falling. In this case, you may experience acute strain that may feel like you pulled your back but is in reality an injury of your muscles. Signs and symptoms of a lower back muscle strain include tenderness, stiffness, and pain described as either dull, achy, or occasionally sharp with certain movements. For this type of pain, rest should be your first option. Over the next couple of days, try to take it easy on your back. If you feel able, try some gentle stretches to test your range of motion and the severity of your pain.
When your body reflexively tries to protect itself during a fall, the postural muscles within your spine and core tense up. This tensing and the resulting impact can damage spinal muscle fibers and in some cases may lead to misalignments of vertebral joints or disc injuries (herniation or bulge). In this way, you can “pull” your lower back even if you manage to keep yourself from falling.
If you fall on your back and experience severe pain that makes breathing or standing difficult, you should have a thorough examination by a healthcare professional immediately. If you experience any of the following symptoms, or your pain lasts more than a few days, call us for an evaluation. We can usually see you the same day you call.
- Difficulty breathing or standing
- Pain while sitting
- Pain radiating down your leg when trying to straighten your knee
- Risk factors such as osteoporosis
If you’re worried that you may have seriously hurt yourself, have a medical professional like our SpineOne doctors evaluate you for spinal injuries. The treatment plans we offer for acute injuries are minimally-invasive alternatives to ongoing medication regimens, and are designed to alleviate your pain so you can maintain an ongoing wellness program.