How Much Time Does It Take For a Back Injury to Heal?

Patients suffering from back injuries and pain always want to know how long it will take for their condition to heal. This is an understandable question when considering the debilitating and often excruciating nature of these conditions and how they impact our lives financially. Every year, thousands of New Yorkers experience the disruption and lessened quality of life that comes with spinal issues and want to get back to normalcy that their lives demand. 

Factors That Affect the Length of Healing Time

While there isn’t a set standard for how long recovery should take, patients should not lose heart when faced with a truly agonizing back injury. Today’s medical advances can at least pinpoint the culprit of your pain more accurately and get you on the road to recovery sooner. Factors that can affect the length of healing time include:

  • Source of the pain
  • Scope of the injury
  • Type of trauma that caused the condition
  • Activities that contributed
  • Most Effective Treatment options 

Since several common back injuries have somewhat predictable outcomes, it is possible to receive a general timeline for your recovery. 

Treatment of Mild Strains and Sprains

When you over-exercise, lift heavy items repeatedly or improperly, or do not have a strong core of muscles supporting your back, you may need to rest for a few days and discontinue the activity that hurt you. Severe strains may require further downtime along with managed care options such as:

  • Over-the-counter medication
  • Massage Therapy
  • Prescribed pain management
  • Further evaluation by a musculoskeletal specialist

A thorough assessment by your trusted physician will help determine what care services you need and get you the necessary referrals or prescriptions to start healing.

Traumatic Spine Injuries

Significant injury situations like that of a car accident or fall may have resulted in fractured vertebrae, a ruptured disc, or torn ligaments that will not heal without ongoing medical intervention. If your doctor decides surgery isn’t necessary, you may start feeling like you are on your way to wellness in three months or so. Keep in mind that no two injuries are identical in nature and your recovery may take longer than someone else in a similar situation. 

Recovering From Back Injuries After Surgery

For those who have surgery recommended as part of their treatment plan, it’s essential to discuss with the referred surgeon the purpose of the operation, and its effect on recovery time. Recovering from outpatient surgery can range broadly from four to eight weeks, depending if there were any complications encountered during the procedure. For inpatient surgical needs, one may have months of healing ahead of them. Both surgery types often have follow-up care involving physiotherapy and other rehabilitation services. 

Give Yourself Time

When faced with a back injury that prevents you from pursuing your normal activities and enjoying your life, give your body time to heal. Patience with the process of recovery is crucial after an injury of this type. If you push yourself before your body is ready, you risk aggravating your condition further and potentially extending the healing process.