About Back Injuries
Spinal conditions that require medical treatment can happen in many ways. They can happen slowly, over time, through the course of aging. They also can happen in an instant through an injury. Most spinal injuries involve sprains and strains, herniated or bulging discs, or vertebral fractures. You might have difficulty bending, twisting, or lifting after an injury. Some people will even hear a “pop” at the time of the injury indicating tissue damage.
According to the Mayo Clinic, herniated discs occur when the soft, jelly-like center of your spinal disk pushes out through the tough, exterior of the disk through a tear in the “annulus.” This can cause muscle weakness, numbness, tingling, or arm/leg pain. A fractured vertebra occurs when the actual bone in the spinal column is broken or dislocated. A broken spine is often a medical emergency because the bone fragments can injure the nerves of the spinal cord. At times, the vertebra can become so weak that the bones crumple and collapse, causing a compression fracture. These types of fractures can also require minimal to extensive medical treatment, which varies depending on the location and severity of the fractures.
Surgery for these back injuries are not always required. However, when back injuries are serious, surgical intervention may be the only option to prevent paralysis or death. Otherwise, the patient may be placed in a variety of conservative treatment programs, including placement in a brace or supportive device, physical therapy programs, and/or steroid injections. At times, a spinal cord stimulator or other medical apparatus may help with ongoing pain symptoms. Due to the complicated nature of these types of injuries, you may be treated by an orthopedic surgeon, neurosurgeon, pain/anesthesia specialist, and other practitioners for symptom management and to promote healing.
If your back was injured by the negligence of another, the Noll Law Office can help you through this difficult time. They can explain every step of the claim process and help you to make informed decisions on your case as it progresses.
Statistics Regarding Back Injuries
Harvard Health reports that four out of five adults will experience back pain in their lifetime. Causes vary, ranging from degenerative arthritis and chronic diseases, cancer and tumors, and disc herniations, to acute injury caused by activities or accidents. Back sprains and strains can be caused by lifting or overloading injuries, and even simple pregnancy. Spinal fractures can be caused by vehicular collisions, falls, or simple degenerative changes over time.
About 2 million back injuries occur every year across the nation. Around 80 percent of all adults will experience some level of back injury during their lifetime. Of that 80 percent, five percent will develop chronic, disabling back pain. About one in five workplace injuries are back injuries, leading to 264 million lost workdays each year. Experts believe a better-designed workspace could effectively eliminate as many as one-third of all work-related back injuries.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Back Injuries?
There are many causes of back pain, and injuries. Common causes include:
- Aging – The human aging process typically results in some level of arthritis and degenerative changes to the spine, which can result in spinal pain.
- Vehicular collisions – car accidents, trucking accidents, motorcycle accidents, and work injuries are some of the most common causes of back injuries. The spine and human torso move through a series of attached muscles, ligaments, and other soft tissues, which can be strained or sprained as a result of these types of accidents. Sometimes, the vertebra of the spine can be fractured from the trauma associated with impact. At other times, a disk can “slip” out of its natural position, causing severe discomfort.
- Disease – Fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, kidney disease, and cancer may all result in spinal pain.
Only highly trained medical experts (typically orthopedic physicians and neurosurgeons) can testify to the causes of your injuries, which may not be immediately clear. Spinal injuries can be tricky, and some life-threatening conditions may not be observable to the naked eye. If you are suffering from back pain, you should schedule an appointment with your primary care doctor, who can refer you to the correct specialist for further testing. If you have been in an accident, such as a work injury or vehicular collision, you should present to the nearest emergency room to rule out any potentially life-threatening spinal injuries.
What Treatments Are Available for Back Injuries?
There are many potential treatments for back injuries, and your doctor’s recommendations may change depending on the cause of your injuries, the types of injuries you are suffering from, and how severe those injuries are.
Common treatments for back injuries include physical therapy, chiropractic care, acupuncture, prescribed medications, steroid injections, and surgery. Mindfulness techniques, yoga, and other conservative treatments are being increasingly recommended.
One of the best treatments for back pain is to avoid the injury before it occurs, or to minimize it after the injury, by making simple lifestyle decisions. Harvard Health recommends using good posture, exercising, and maintaining a healthy weight to promote spinal health. Quitting smoking is also imperative to spinal health, increasing the body’s chances of naturally healing after an injury.
What Should I Do If I’m Suffering from a Back Injury?
If you are suffering from back pain, you should seek medical attention immediately. Only a trained medical expert will be able to make a correct diagnosis and provide you with feedback to make informed treatment decisions. Informed consent is the cornerstone of American healthcare decision-making.
If your back injury was caused by the negligence of another, such as in a vehicular collision, it is beneficial to speak to a knowledgeable personal injury attorney who can help you determine whether filing a claim for damages is the right course of action. If your back was injured during the scope of your employment, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Contact the Noll Law Office today for help to address the physical, financial, and emotional aspects of your back injury. Making an informed decision is always the best chance you have of protecting yourself and your future.
How Can Noll Law Office Help Me?
At Noll Law Office, they believe that frequent, honest communication with clients is the key to supporting injured persons in making informed litigation decisions. The Noll Law Office attorneys will work with you directly, throughout the process. As fifth-generation Springfield attorneys, the Noll Law Office takes pride in their community roots and helping central Illinois families. Its attorneys will fight for you, your rights, and your future. Contact Noll Law Office today.