Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Back Pain after Injury Treatment

The treatment for back injuries depends on the type and severity of the back injury. For mild injuries, such as an acute back strain or sprain, rest is important initially, but prolonged bedrest may delay recovery. After the pain resolves, physical therapy should be started as soon as possible. Back stretching and strengthening exercises can reduce pain and speed recovery. Severe injuries may require surgery to repair damaged tissue. Most mild back injuries resolve within 1-2 weeks, while moderate to severe injuries may take months to heal.

Treatment for a minor back injury includes:


Additional treatment for a back injury may also include:
  • Narcotic pain medication:
    • For moderate to severe pain
    • For short term use only
  • Back strengthening exercises
  • Massage therapy for the back
  • Physical therapy for the back
  • Ultrasound therapy

A severe back injury may require surgery, such as:

For more information:

Back Pain after Injury Drugs

Back Pain after Injury Questions For Doctor

The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of a back injury.

Questions to ask before treatment:

  • What are my treatment options?
    • Is surgery an option for me?
  • What are the risks associated with treatment?
  • Do I need to stay in the hospital?
    • How long will I be in the hospital?
  • What are the complications I should watch for?
  • How long will I be on medication?
  • What are the potential side effects of my medication?
  • Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
  • Should I take my medication with food?

Questions to ask after treatment:
  • Do I need to change my diet?
  • Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
  • When can I resume my normal activities?
  • When can I return to work?
  • Do I need a special exercise program?
  • Will I need physical therapy?
  • Will I need occupational therapy?
  • What else can I do to reduce my risk for having this injury again?
  • How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
  • What local support and other resources are available?

Back Pain after Injury Specialist

Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat a back injury:

Continue to Back Pain after Injury Home Care

Last Updated: Mar 16, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Back Pain after Injury References
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  3. Smith D, McMurray N, Disler P. Early intervention for acute back injury: can we finally develop an evidence-based approach? Clin Rehabil. 2002 Feb;16(1):1-11. [11837522]
  4. Tveito TH, Hysing M, Eriksen HR. Low back pain interventions at the workplace: a systematic literature review. Occup Med (Lond). 2004 Jan;54(1):3-13. [14963248]
  5. van der Roer N, Goossens ME, Evers SM, van Tulder MW. What is the most cost-effective treatment for patients with low back pain? A systematic review. Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 2005 Aug;19(4):671-84. [15949783]
  6. van Tulder MW, Koes BW, Bouter LM: Conservative treatment of acute and chronic nonspecific low back pain. A systematic review of randomized controlled trials of the most common interventions. Spine 1997 Sep 15; 22(18): 2128-56. [9322325]
  7. Wassell JT, Gardner LI, Landsittel DP, Johnston JJ, Johnston JM. A prospective study of back belts for prevention of back pain and injury. JAMA. 2000 Dec 6;284(21):2727-32. [11105177]
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