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Lumbar Spine Injuries

Wisconsin River Orthopaedics

Orthopaedic Surgery, Sports Medicine & Physical Therapy located in Wisconsin Rapids, WI

Your lumbar, or lower, spine is an area that’s especially prone to injury, causing acute and chronic back pain. If you incur any lumbar spine injuries, Wisconsin River Orthopaedics can help. At the practice in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, the board-certified orthopaedic surgeons and physical therapy team provide advanced treatments for a comprehensive range of lower back pain conditions. Get help for your lumbar spine injuries by calling or booking an appointment online today.

Lumbar Spine Injuries Q & A

What are lumbar spine injuries?

Lumbar spine injuries affect your lower back, often causing pain and affecting function. Injuries can occur to the vertebrae, the intervertebral discs, the muscles, and the nerve roots where they exit your spine. In some cases, lumbar spine injuries also involve damage to the spinal cord.

Common lumbar spine injuries include:

Muscular problems

Muscle strains occur when you pull or overstretch the tissues. They may develop slowly as a result of repetitive strain from movements like bending. They can also be a result of heavy lifting or using a poor technique when lifting. 

Muscular problems cause mild to severe pain and stiffness in your lower back.

Fractures

Severe lumbar spine injuries can occur due to an auto accident, serious fall from height, or other trauma. Fractures (broken bones) affecting the vertebrae are one of the most likely injuries and carry the additional risk of spinal cord damage.

Herniated discs

When a disc — a shock-absorbent circle of tissue that sits between the vertebrae — herniates, it can cause severe back pain if the tissue presses onto your spinal nerves. 

During disc herniation, the core (nucleus pulposus) pushes against the disc’s outer covering (annulus fibrosus). Sciatica is often due to a herniated lumbar disc.

As well as acute injuries, you may develop back pain slowly from wear-and-tear damage to your spine. Spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, and many herniated discs occur from these chronic lumbar spine conditions.

How are lumbar spine injuries treated?

At Wisconsin River Orthopaedics, the multidisciplinary team can often successfully resolve lumbar spine injuries using non-surgical treatment options.

Exercise

Exercise strengthens your back muscles, increases spinal flexibility, and helps you avoid future injuries. Being physically active also lubricates your spine.

Physical and occupational therapy

Wisconsin River Orthopaedics has an on-site physical therapy and occupational therapy team that uses a variety of treatments, including heat and ice, therapeutic ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and mobilization, stretching, and strengthening exercises to reduce pain and improve movement.

Medication

Anti-inflammatory medications help to reduce swelling and pain, and may make it easier to engage in physical therapy.

Epidural steroid injections

Steroid injections into the epidural space surrounding your spine can be very effective in reducing inflammation and easing pain for several months.

Would I need surgery for lumbar spine injuries?

Most patients don’t need surgery for lumbar spine injuries. However, if you have an injury like a severe fracture that can’t heal properly by itself or a chronic condition for which other treatments are proving ineffective, the Wisconsin River Orthopaedics team might suggest surgery.

Possible procedures include microdiscectomy to remove the damaged parts of your discs, fracture repair, and artificial disc replacement.

If you have painful lumbar spine injuries, call Wisconsin River Orthopaedics for prompt, expert care, or book an appointment online today.