A back injury can upend your day-to-day life significantly. One of the most common reasons for doctor’s visits, missed school, missed work, and disability in the United States is back injuries.
At The Super Lawyer in Atlanta, GA, we have been helping people suffering from back injuries for years. Our Atlanta back injury lawyers work with medical and investigative experts to prepare convincing back injury claims throughout metro Atlanta.
The Super Lawyer offers a free initial consultation to discuss back injury lawsuits against employers, drunk drivers, and other at-fault parties. We are dedicated to helping back injury victims recover full compensation. Call our Atlanta personal injury attorneys at 404-574-4308 for a free case review today!
What Are the Symptoms of a Back Injury?
How do you tell that you have sustained an injury to your back? Typically, back injuries are characterized by:
- Dull pain and soreness
- Greater pain when coughing, laughing, sneezing, or even just moving
- Stiffness or difficulty moving
- A sharp, tingling, or numbing sensation that radiates around the buttocks and down one or both legs
- Difficulty standing upright
- Muscles spasms
- Bruising and swelling
While there are many more back injury symptoms, they vary on an individual basis. For proper treatment, it is essential to determine the cause of your symptoms.
What Are Common Types of Back Injuries?
The back is made up of bones, joints, soft tissues, and nerves. Different types of back injuries affect the different parts that make up the back. Here are some different kinds of back injuries:
A bulging disk occurs when the disks located between the bones in the spinal cord are compressed pushing out the disk hence the name bulging disk. Bulging disks are often accompanied by a series of symptoms like
- Reduced coordination
- Back pain that worsens with movement
- Back muscle spasms
- Weakening and numbing of the legs and feet
- Reduced mobility
- Decreased bowel and bladder control
- Difficulty walking
This is another common back injury. It occurs when the jelly-like nucleus in the disk is pushed out into the spine after the tough outer ring of ligaments that surround and protect the disk is torn. Usually, herniated discs are caused by wear and tear from aging or repeated pressure. They also occur when the disc is pushed out of place after a traumatic injury like a car accident, fall, or sports accident.
Nerve damage in the spine is characterized by sharp, stinging, and/or tingling pain that travels from the back down to your legs. Nerve damage also causes numbness and weakened muscles. A spinal cord injury is the most serious type of nerve damage that can affect your back. A spinal cord injury can cause loss of sensation and paralysis below the injury point.
Vertebral fractures can occur from degenerative conditions like osteoporosis, which weakens bones and often causes a vertebral compression fracture. Fractures may also occur from a traumatic injury. Many who sustain vertebral fractures report experiencing pain that gets worse with movement. Vertebral fractures range from simple compression fractures, burst fractures, to fracture-dislocation, which is the worst of these injuries.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injuries are the most common back injuries and they include sprains and strains. Muscles, tendons, and ligaments make up the soft tissues. Strains occur when the back muscles and tendons overstretch or tear while sprains occur due to overstretching and tearing of the ligaments. Strains and sprains are caused by traumatic injuries and repetitive motion injuries.
How Will Your Doctor Identify the Nature and Causes of Your Back Injury
An accurate diagnosis is crucial in identifying the root cause of your back pain and ultimately the best treatment regimen. You are required to provide an elaborate description of your symptoms and medical history to give your doctor an idea of the origin of your pain.
Typically, you will be asked to provide information about current symptoms, activity level, sleep habits, posture, and injuries before any physical examination.
A Physical Exam
A physical examination aims to scale down possible causes of back pain. Normally, physical examinations involve palpations, neurological examinations, range of motion tests, reflex tests, and leg raise tests. Based on the information obtained from your medical history and physical examination, a doctor will often be able to diagnose your back injury without the need for further tests.
But, your doctor may need to perform diagnostic imaging tests if they don’t glean enough information from your medical history and physical exam. If your pain is severe, persists for two or three months, and doesn’t go away after non-surgical treatments, you may have to undergo imaging tests such as:
A CAT Scan
In a CAT (computer tomography) scan, a doctor will send x-rays through your spine and a computer will generate 3D images of the same. The doctor will then study these images from different angles to identify any issues in your spine.
Unlike a CAT scan which uses radiation, an MRI scan uses magnetic resonance imaging to detect any abnormalities with soft tissues ligaments, muscles, and vertebral discs in the spine.
X-rays are another type of diagnostic imaging that is used to assess the bones in the spine to identify abnormalities such as bone spurs, arthritis, fractures, or tumors.
Sometimes doctors have the right diagnosis but not the exact location of the pain, so imaging tests may be used to locate the specific source of pain in case you are having surgery.
Types of Treatment
The treatment for your back injury relies significantly on the location and what caused it. Here are some treatment regimens for back injuries:
One way of treating a back injury is by taking over-the-counter and prescription medications like aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen to help relieve back pain.
Doctors can also perform radiofrequency ablation which involves using radio waves to interrupt communication within the nerves.
This type of treatment involves injecting an anesthetic close to particular nerves to prevent them from sending and registering pain signals in the brain.
Spinal Cord Stimulator
Spinal cord stimulation is used when other non-surgical procedures are ineffective. It involves sending minimal amounts of electricity to the spinal cord to relieve back pain.
Doctors may also use epidural steroid injections as a short-term treatment to temporarily relieve pain by minimizing inflammation in the dural sac.
Chronic back pain may require surgery. But, doctors will have to conduct an in-depth diagnosis before surgery to identify the exact origin and cause of pain.
Doctors use this procedure to alleviate pain caused by vertebral fractures. Kyphoplasty stabilizes the bone and restores some or all of the lost vertebral height.
Chiropractors can help treat back injuries by manipulating the spine using hand thrusts at varying speeds to adjust spinal structures. This helps to reduce stiffness, improve movement, and ultimately relieve back pain.
Contact a Top Atlanta Back Injury Lawyer Today!
The knowledgeable personal injury attorneys at The Super Lawyer in Atlanta, GA understand the frustrations people with back pain undergo. We are willing and ready to navigate you through the legal process and secure compensation for your back injury. Call our Atlanta back injury lawyers at 404-574-4308 to arrange a free consultation.