How Long Can a Back Injury Last?

You don’t realize how often you use your back until you injure it. When you have a back injury, every little movement hurts. It’s hard to stand, sit, and lie down. Simply getting out of bed can be a struggle. It’s so uncomfortable that you want to know how long a back injury lasts. This depends on the type of and severity of the injury as well as the treatment protocol you follow. While there are various factors that go into the length of time you’ll have to deal with your back injury; it’s still possible to get an idea of how long you’ll have to wait until you are finally pain-free.

Mild Sprains and Strains 

Many people end up with minor sprains and strains. This is often due to lifting something too heavy, exercising too intensely, or even tripping over the dog. The sprain or strain might be mild, but it is still uncomfortable enough for you to count down the days until you’re healed. The good news is you can usually overcome this injury within a few days as long as you rest. Do not engage in the activity that caused the injury and take it easy for a few days. You can take some over-the-counter pain medications to minimize the discomfort and use ice to reduce the swelling. You can also engage in some light walking, but don’t push yourself.

Severe Strains and Sprains

If your sprain or strain is more severe, it will take longer than a few days to recover. You can expect to experience symptoms for a few weeks in this case. Rest and ice will speed up the recovery for severe strains and sprains, but you should also see a doctor. Your doctor can provide you with treatment to lessen the symptoms and shorten the recovery time. 

Acute Injuries

Acute injuries occur when the back experiences some form of trauma. This can be due to the force of impact during an accident or from overextending or overusing your back. Acute injuries include tears, ruptures, and fractures and take longer to heal. At a minimum, you will need four weeks to heal from this type of injury, although it can take 12 weeks or longer. 

You might need surgery to treat your acute back injury, and that will lead to a longer recovery. Surgery can take many weeks or months to recover from, and then you will need to rehabilitate your back. Doctors often endorse physical therapy for patients who have undergone surgery. Muscles can atrophy during the recovery process, and physical therapy will help you regain your strength and mobility.

Speed up Your Recovery Time

You can likely recover from a mild back injury with some rest, but acute and severe injuries require medical intervention. Your doctor can establish the cause of the pain and create a treatment protocol to address it. Whether you have a new injury or keep reinjuring your back, a trip to the doctor is likely in order.