What is included in prehospital care for acute mechanical back pain?

Updated: Aug 27, 2020
  • Author: Debra G Perina, MD; Chief Editor: Trevor John Mills, MD, MPH  more...
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If the patient's back pain is from a traumatic injury, full spinal precautions using a long backboard for spinal immobilization should be used for extrication if needed and left in place during transport, unless there is extended transport times where risk of skin breakdown exists, particularly in older patients. If transport is going to be prolonged, it is reasonable to log roll the patient onto a soft stretcher if enough personnel are available to do so while maintaining spinal precautions.

If no history of trauma is present, spinal precautions is not necessary, as the patient may experience significant exacerbation of pain by lying on a rigid board. If the patient is brought into the emergency department on a rigid board, they should be removed from the board at the first opportunity.

If a rigid board is necessary, the patient may be made more comfortable by supporting the lower extremities with a pillow or blanket.

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