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Back injury symptoms

2 min read

Signs and symptoms of a back injury include:

  • pain or tenderness (sore to touch)
  • pain that worsens with movement, coughing, sneezing or laughing
  • stiffness or difficulty moving
  • difficulty standing up straight
  • muscles in spasm on either side of the spine
  • bruising
  • swelling
  • pain that radiates down one or both legs.

Any of the following symptoms could indicate a severe back injury. Seek medicial assistance immediately by calling triple zero (000).

If you suspect a severe back injury, you should seek medical assistance immediately, and phone your doctor or call an ambulance by dialling triple zero (000). Do not move the person unless they are in danger and advise the person to not move their back. Support their head, neck and spine and prevent twisting or bending movements.

Not sure what to do next?

If you are still concerned about your back injury, check your symptoms with healthdirect’s online Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.

The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether it’s self care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero (000).

Last reviewed: July 2017

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