5 Signs of a Lower Back Injury

5 Signs of a Lower Back Injury

Lower back pain is frustratingly common — as recently as 2017, research showed that over 7% of the population worldwide suffered from it. This translates to 577 million individuals. 

Aside from the pain and discomfort, those suffering from low back pain miss out on work, exercise, and their favorite leisure activities. 

Here at Empire Physical Therapy & Athletic Rehabilitation in New York City, Billy Reilly, MS, PT and Paul LaRosa, MS, PT have helped countless victims of low back pain. Our approach is patient-centered, innovative, and compassionate. 

Not just one type of lower back pain

If you’re plagued by lower back pain, you might suffer from the acute type, which is shorter in duration and typically dissipates after a few days or weeks. But that doesn’t mean that the pain is in any way mild. It can be debilitating. 

If you have chronic lower back pain, it means you’ve suffered for 12 weeks or more. 

Your lower back (lumbar spine) does the lion’s share of supporting your body’s weight, so it’s the part of your back that’s at greatest risk for developing pain. 

Among the symptoms of lower back pain are:

When these symptoms combine to make you miserable, you may be unable to focus on anything but your discomfort, but we’re here to help. 

Symptoms that point to lower back injury

You can injure your lower back by performing an awkward movement, playing sports, or suffering a traumatic injury related to an accident. Signs that your lower back is injured include:

Herniated disc pain

If you have a herniated disc, part of the nucleus of your disc (the soft inner core) pushes through a crack in the harder exterior portion of your disc. You can experience significant discomfort if the herniation compresses the nerve.

Injuries sustained in car accidents or by simply lifting something heavy lead to this type of discomfort. 


Pain isn’t the only symptom that hints at back injury. You can feel stiffness in your lower back that limits your movement and leaves you sidelined.

Muscle spasms

Involuntary contractions in your lower back also point to injury. Unfortunately, they can occur when you’re active or resting.

Posture changes

If you find yourself standing differently or slouching, this could be the result of an injury to your lower back. Because of pain and stiffness, you may favor one side or the other.

Lower back pain that lingers

When your pain lasts longer than just a few days, you might be dealing with a lower back injury. If the pain doesn’t resolve on its own fairly promptly, seek care from a professional.

If you’re concerned that you’ve injured your lower back, you want relief soon as possible. We create personalized treatment plans, so whatever your back injury is, we work to help you feel better soon.

How can you treat my lower back injury?

When you visit us for a lower back injury, you can count on us to not only address your pain, but help you prevent future injuries. 

We use both passive and active forms of physical therapy to treat your pain and limited movement. The former is hands-on treatment that zeroes in on your source of pain. These treatments include:

These approaches help your body to tolerate the other type of physical therapy treatment, active PT. It also prepares your tissues for when you receive active physical therapy. 

Active treatment consists of muscle manipulation, stretching, and special exercises. 

Most of your therapy for lower back pain injuries is the active type. This modality is both safe and effective. Active treatment for lower back pain leads to increased spinal stability in addition to reaching a pain-free, comfortable state. 

Don’t suffer the pain and limited movement of a lower back injury one more day. Call us at Empire Physical Therapy & Athletic Rehabilitation today to set up an appointment at our convenient Midtown East office in Manhattan, or request one online.

When we’re your caregivers, you always see the same therapist at each appointment, so we get to truly know you.

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