I think I threw my back! What do I do now?

While “throwing your back” isn’t a medical or scientific term, it is used to describe a host of symptoms. Muscle strain, spasm, and a ruptured disk are common causes for a thrown-out back; which can happen as quickly as lifting a weighty box or twisting to hit a ball when playing golf.

You might already know (or well imagine) that a thrown-out back can keep you from enjoying your typical daily activities. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), sprained backs are the most common reasons for visiting your chiropractor’s or doctor’s office (while missing valuable days at work). According to them, 80 percent of Americans will experience lower back pain within their lifetime. For many within that group, a back spasm is painfully likely.

When you throw out your back, it will let you know immediately. The pain will be sharp and severe. In most cases, the pain will go away after a few days—otherwise, surgery or medication may be necessary.

Common Ways People Can Throw Their Backs

A sprained or painful back is often the result of a muscle strain. Straining your back muscles can happen when you have poor posture, overstretch, twist suddenly, incorrectly lift a heavy object.

You may be surprised at how common back pain is—and how quickly it can occur.

Common conditions that cause thrown-out backs include:

Why Do People Throw Out Their Backs?

There are a variety of reasons why someone would hurt their back. Mostly, people often place excess strain and stress on their middle and lower back. Activities like sitting at your desk for hours, prolonged bed rest, lifting heavy objects, gardening for too long, poor posture, golf, and more.

back pain from golf
It’s not uncommon for golfers to experience back pain


Other conditions may include tumors, illness, or infections. You should immediately see your local chiropractor for sudden back pain that doesn’t go away after a day or two.


If you notice accompanying symptoms like fever, numbness in your legs and feet, and pain getting progressively worse—do not hesitate!

How You Can Prevent Back Pain

Avoiding back injury may not always be preventable, but you can take some steps to minimize the risk of throwing out your back. Here are a few tips that might help you:

everett chiropractic
Walking daily may help prevent back pain
  • Eat healthily and exercise
  • Maintain an active lifestyle
  • Avoid sitting or long periods of inactivity
  • Stretch or walk daily
  • Stand straight: practice good posture
  • Make sure your mattress is firm enough to support your back
  • Wear ergonomically designed shoes
  • Lift with your knees, not with your back
  • If you smoke, you might consider smoking as it impairs oxygen delivery to your spinal tissues


See your chiropractor if you have severe back pain that has not gotten better after two weeks.


It is essential to treat your back injury by seeing a chiropractor like us as soon as possible to avoid further damage or suffering. The good news is that we are available to assist and we are right here in Everett, near Mukilteo, Marysville, Mill Creek and Lynnwood!

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