In this article, we will discuss about what to do after falling on your back.
Falling on your back can be very dangerous and can cause severe damage to your backbone, joints, connecting tissues, muscles, or nerves in the back, which can lead to severe pain and discomfort.
A person can easily injure their back while doing any physical work, playing sports, or slipping down on a smooth surface. The most common injuries from falling on your back are the lower back, herniated disks, sprain, fracture, and strain.
Apart from pain, some other symptoms may also indicate a severe back injury, such as difficulty breathing, numbness in the arms, legs, feet, and blood in the urine.
There are ample available devices that can help a person prevent such accidents, or, if unfortunately, you have gone through such an injury, can help reduce your pain.
This article discusses the causes, prevention, and what to do after you fall on your back.
Falling On Your Back – Reasons & Prevention
It is one of the most common factors due to which people suffer from back-related injuries. In most cases, slips occur due to poor grip on wet and oily surfaces.
In order to avoid slipping and falling, it is very important to wear the right kind of shoes. Non-slip shoes have a unique outsole that provides the user with good traction and maintains a solid grip, helping users maintain their balance and thus avoiding slips.
Falling From a Chair
Chairs made out of flimsy material can be fragile, and may not be able to withstand a heavy load. As a result, they tend to break quickly. A person sitting on such a chair may end up hurting their back.
You should not use chairs that can break or bend easily, causing the ones sitting on them to fall and hurt their back. To avoid such a situation, people must buy chairs made from highly durable material and have a high load capacity.
While Playing a Game
Many back injuries occur on the playing field. There are many sports, such as football, wrestling, basketball, and so on, which are high-intensity games.
Often players of such games suffer from back-related issues due to a mistimed tackle or a collision. Sometimes wrong gear also contributes to the injury situation, such as wearing the wrong sports shoes. Such shoes would lead the person to fall and hurt their back. People can wear specialized shoes which provide them with adequate support to prevent them from falling.
Loss of Balance
Age also plays a vital role in falling and hurting back. With growing age, the person’s stability and mobility decrease due to which they can easily fall and hurt their backs.
The muscles and tissues also grow weak, due to which they sustain a lot of damage even when the intensity of the impact is not high.
Elders can use mobility aid devices such as a walking cane, walkers, and rollators as these devices increase their stability and significantly reduce the possibility of a fall.
Losing a Step on the Staircase
Walking up and down stairs can be tedious for plus-sized people or older adults. Generally, these people have low mobility, which leads them to lose their balance on the stairs and then fall. People can use power chair lifts to move up and down the stairs quickly and other mobility devices such as rollators or walkers.
To make the stairs safer for the elderly, install slip-free strips and treads.
What to Do Immediately After Falling?
A sudden fall can be very shocking and painful and often leads to some injuries as well. The first thing a person should do right after falling is to calm and compose themselves. The first step is to evaluate the fall and its damage, as in many cases, people try to get up, which in turn worsens the injury quickly.
Pause & Assess
You should first pause and take a deep breath. This allows you to overcome the sudden shock you get after you fall. Do this step before trying to get up, because it allows you to collect your senses and think rationally.
Understand Extent of Injury
You should then try to judge and decide the level of injury based on any pain that you are feeling, as getting up incorrectly and moving fast will worsen the injury.
Call for Assistance
The next step is to decide whether you need assistance or not. If you feel like you won’t be able to get up and move, you should call for help, or call 911 and move into a comfortable position and wait for help to arrive.
Many medical alert devices are available in the market for just such emergencies. They can be worn on your person and can help alert your family/friends with the press of a button.
Pull Yourself Up
If you decide that you don’t need any assistance, then you should roll over onto your side and rest for a few moments. Then grab onto something sturdy, and slowly rise and turn your body so that you can sit or lie down in a comfortable place.
What to Do After Falling on Your Back – Long Term
Take Ample Rest
It is essential to take ample rest after falling on your back as this gives the person a chance to self-evaluate their injury. The patient can also use a Coccyx Cushion to help them alleviate the pain in their tail bone. In most cases, tailbone pain is very excruciating and tough to bear.
A Coccyx cushion is also called a wedge-shaped cushion, which supports the coccyx and reduces the uncomfortable pressure. Sleeping flat on the back with the buttocks and heels in contact with the bed and slightly raised knees is the correct way to sleep when one has lower back pain and sciatica.
Sliding a comfortable and soft pillow between the legs for back pain is also a very effective way to provide comfort to the user. If the person sleeps on their side, a firm pillow between the knees will prevent the upper leg from pulling the spine out of alignment and reduces stress on the hips and lower back.
Avoid Unnecessary Movement
It’s essential to limit mobility for some time. Maintaining the patient’s proper hygiene is very important as adequate hygiene supports faster recovery, whereas poor hygiene can delay recovery.
People who have severe back pain and are entirely on the bed for some time may need to bathe on their bed using proper equipment that takes care of their general hygiene. Patients who have some degree of mobility and movement can use shower chairs for bathing.
These chairs are narrow and sturdy due to which they easily fit in a bathroom and can support a hefty load capacity. The shower chairs also have a collapsible design, making them easy to store and highly portable.
Use Mobility Aids Such as Walking Canes
Walking Canes are the perfect device for providing support to people who have a little bit of mobility and are not entirely bedridden.
Walking canes generally have a high load capacity and a retractable design, making them highly portable and beneficial for the user. Nowadays, walking canes are made of really high-quality materials such as stainless steel and aluminum, as these substances are very wear-resistant.
Reducing or controlling inflammation is an essential part of the patient’s rehabilitation process. Generally, it is advised to stop or severely reduce physical activity so that the injuries get enough time to recover.
Afterward, you must apply ice or heat to the painful area. For the first 48 to 72 hours, you must apply ice first to reduce inflammation, and then, you may move on to heat compression to help reducing stiffness. It is advisable to avoid exercising immediately after the fall and slowly get back up to pace after 2 to 3 weeks of rest. You should start exercising again gradually so that the body gets enough time to recover and does not go under a lot of stress immediately after recovering.
Avoid Standing for Longer Periods
Standing for long periods can be harmful to the user, especially when their wound or injury is fresh. At that point, the body has not fully recovered to take the strain of standing, which may aggravate the injury in the long run.
To avoid such a possibility, you can use rollators, canes, or walkers. There are different types of rollators, and mobility devices available in the market, such as automatic wheelchairs or mobility scooters and standard traditional hand-operated wheelchairs. These wheelchairs have a lot of soft cushioning and padding, which provide ultimate comfort to the user.
Maintain Good Posture
Having a straight back while sitting dramatically reduces the stress and strain on the already injured backbone of the user. The best reclining wheelchairs with headrest are an excellent option for such situations as the reclining wheelchairs mostly have an adjustable backrest. It can be adjusted according to the users’ needs.
For instance, if you want to be relaxed, you can recline the backrest. The adjustable headrest also acts as additional head and neck support, which helps maintain a proper posture.
Choose Right Footwear
High heels or shoes with very high and thick soles should be avoided by the patient as these shoes unnecessarily add to the stress and strain on the lower back. A lot of times, wrong footwear also causes severe back pain.
Shoes with cushioned soles are ideal for walking and other purposes if they are suffering from back-related issues. The cushioned soles provide a soft and comfortable platform for the user to step on. These shoes also often improve the running or walking gait of the user.
Use a Leg Raising Stool
A leg raising stool has a lot of uses. These stools raise the user’s legs higher than the hips, which reduces pressure on the lower back. This is helpful if someone has weak muscles or painful and stiff joints in the legs. These types of stools are also beneficial for keeping the intestines healthy.
After a fall, the person needs to stay warm and calm. They are advised to walk on warm surfaces such as a rug, carpet, or other soft surfaces. The patient can also cover themselves with warm infrared sauna blankets or warm clothes and shoes. Cold surfaces can aggravate the injury and cause more pain and discomfort to the patient.
The appropriate procedure is essential for reconditioning of the muscles after a back fall. As soon as the patient can bear or tolerate the pain and discomfort, they must start to perform gentle stretching to strengthen the back muscles.
A comprehensive rehabilitation program consists of both proper stretching exercises, along with adequate strengthening exercises. Some of these exercises are back extensions, cat stretches, hip rolls, leg raises, core exercises, and so on, for which you can use resistance bands.
It is recommended that the patient discuss the rehabilitation program with a physiotherapist or fitness trainer. They have a good idea about the injury’s extent and will have better points to add to the program.
Weight gained or being overweight can also significantly contribute to back pain. Weight gain leads to lower back pain as the lumbar spine’s pressure increases, which often damages the nerves and leads to back pain.
Loss of weight reduces the pressure on the lumbar spine hence alleviating pain. If you are a beginner you can start by using ankle weights to make the exercises more fruitful. You can also wear an activity tracker for weight training.
The primary benefit of the cold compression massage ball is that these balls combine coolness with a massage ball. Coolness is very effective in reducing inflammation and temporarily alleviating pain.
It can be used on any part of the body, where the patient is experiencing pain. The massage balls add more movement to the basic massage pads as the ball rolls smoothly over the sore parts such as the back, neck, arms, legs, and so on, which ultimately reduces inflammation and alleviates pain.
People can easily avoid falling on their back and prevent back injuries by merely using some preventive devices mentioned above and with the help of some proper rest and care. It is tough to avoid such situations altogether, but people can be prepared to face such situations. Identifying the intensity of the injury and the affected area helps a patient take steps that help the injury heal fast and reduce the chances of aggregating the injury.