Back Injuries – Explained
Back injuries can rain on your parade like nothing else. Your back is probably the most under appreciated yet uncared for part of the body. More often than not, the back suffers an injury at least once in a person’s lifetime. Back injuries are not just the result of car accidents or falls. There are a lot of factors that can contribute to developing back injuries and this article will tell you all about it.
It is important to be aware of the different causes of back injuries, especially the ones that you have control of so that you can prevent having these injuries. There are four common types of back injuries. These are acute back strain, chronic back strain, vertebral compression fracture, and herniated disk.
Acute Back Injuries
When a patient is diagnosed to be suffering from acute back strain the patient has torn (in part or fully) muscles of the back. Another case is the acute back sprain diagnosis; this is when a patient has torn (in part or fully) ligaments that support the back. The most common symptoms are back pain and stiffness that is aggravated by any strenuous activity. Back strain and back sprain are the two most common back injuries, whose treatments include simple stretching exercises, pain medications, and getting enough rest.
Chronic Back Strain
A patient who has chronic back strain or pain has been diagnosed to have recurring back pain caused by overuse. Sprains happen the moment your back moves beyond its standard range of movement. Like most back injuries, chronic back strain is characterized by stiffness in the back that can migrate or radiate down to the legs. Chiropractic care and physical therapy are two of the most common treatments for chronic back strain. Activities of daily living should be evaluated and altered to remove the stressors of the condition.
Vertebral Compression Fracture
Some back injuries are sometimes aggravated by certain medical conditions. For example, when you are suffering from osteoporosis or certain types of cancer, you are at risk of having vertebral compression fractures. This back injury happens when you have a ‘broken’ or compressed vertebra. In case you didn’t know, your spine is composed of a group of bones called the vertebrae (the singular form is vertebra). An injury that caused one vertebra to become squeezed in between two adjoining vertebrae results in vertebral compression fracture. The symptoms include tenderness in your back and pain that is felt more intensely when you move, usually severe. The spine may also appear to curve abnormally.
Herniated Disk Back Injuries
A herniated disk could be the most painful and most difficult back injuries and can cause sciatica, numbing, pinched nerve or severe lower back pain. It occurs when the soft tissue inside a disk in the spine is pushed outside a weakened disk wall, forming bulges along the side of the disk. The bulge is made more prominent when the disk is subjected to a lot of stress like when lifting heavy objects. Many of cases occur in the lower back (like at L5 or L4); however, herniated discs (disks) are common in the cervical spine as well neck. Symptoms include severe back pain that radiates down to the legs, (or arms and hands from a disc in the neck like C5 or C6) numbness of the leg and foot, and difficulty in walking.
Knowing all these four types of back injuries is very important especially when you or a family member is showing signs and symptoms of back pain. Being aware of the symptoms of these back injuries will also help your doctor to accurately diagnose your injury.
Posted from Lakewood, Colorado, United States.