Back injuries, particularly to the lower back, are quite common. They can happen suddenly or gradually over time. You can experience back injury while lifting or overusing your back at home or work, while working out, or even by making an awkward movement.
Regardless, a back injury can make it hard to move freely throughout your day. If you sustain an injury, you need to find the right back injury treatment in Atlanta. Our team of doctors at Hurt 911 Injury Center has been helping and treating back injury victims for over two decades.
Our seasoned Atlanta chiropractors and physiotherapy practitioners know which methods and treatments work for various forms of back injuries and will create a treatment plan tailored specifically for your needs.
What Are Some of the Common Symptoms of a Back Injury?
A back injury can have a wide array of symptoms, which include:
- A shooting or stabbing pain that radiates to the foot
- An aching sensation in your lower back
- Reduced range of motion or decreased ability to flex your back
- Inability to stand up straight without experiencing pain
Back injury symptoms, due to misuse or strain, are often short-lived, but they can last for days or weeks. If the symptoms last for more than three months, then the condition is considered chronic.
Symptoms that may indicate a severe issue include:
- Weakness, tingling, or numbness in one or both legs
- Unexplained loss of weight
- Intense, constant pain that worsens at night
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Onset of trauma like a blow to the back, or a fall.
If you have any of these symptoms, do not hesitate to contact Hurt 911 today and schedule an appointment for back injury treatment in Atlanta.
What Are Some of the Common Causes of Back Injuries?
The most common causes of back injury are usually strain and issues with back structures.
Strained muscles can lead to lower back pain or injury. Strain usually happens due to sudden awkward movements and the lifting of heavy items. It can also be due to over-activity, an example being the stiffness and sore feeling that happens after several hours of playing a sport or garden work.
The spine is made up of interlocking bones stacked on top of each other, commonly known as vertebrae. Discs are the tissue regions that cushion the space between these interlocking bones and injuries to these sections are common due to back pain.
Sometimes, the tissue regions can herniate, bulge, and even rupture, resulting in the compression of nerves. Herniated and bulging disks can be extremely painful, leading to the irritation of the sciatic nerve or sciatica. This issue can be experienced in the leg as numbness, tingling, or pain.
The thinning of the bone, combined with the loss of bone density can result in small fractures in the vertebrae. These can result in severe pain and are known as compression fractures.
This is also a potential cause of back injury and pain. It is usually caused by the deterioration and damage of the lower back joints’ cartilage. Over time, this condition can result in a narrowing of the spinal column, also referred to as spinal stenosis.
Severe back injuries can be as a result of falling from a substantial height, car crash, penetrating injury like a stab wound, high-impact fall onto the buttocks, or direct blows to the back. If you sustain a back injury, be it minor or severe, it is important to consult a doctor as soon as possible.
What Are Some Types of Back Injuries?
The lower back is the most prevalent region of back pain and injuries. Some of the most common back injuries include:
Sprains & Strains
When you tear a ligament or overstretch a muscle, the surrounding area tends to become inflamed. This inflammation results in a back spasm, which in turn causes both extreme back pain and difficulty in moving. That’s because the back spasm immobilizes the muscles in the injured section, in an attempt to protect the joints and ligaments from further damage.
Bulging or Herniated Discs
A bulging or herniated disc is another common type of back injury. This tends to happen when there’s an issue with the discs (the rubbery cushions between the vertebrae). A herniated disc happens when the softer interior pushes through a tear in the disc’s exterior. This can result in the irritation of the nearby nerves, leading to painful symptoms like muscle weakness, tingling, numbness, arm or leg pain.
In some cases, however, individuals with a herniated disc do not experience any symptoms. Also, surgery is often not required to treat a herniated disc. The practitioner will discuss your treatment options, which may include physical therapy, rest, medication, or epidural injections.
Vertebrae fractures can range from simple compression ones, where the bone collapses on itself, to the burst kind, where the bone pieces explode out into the tissues surrounding the spine, including the spinal cord and nerves. The worst for fracture injuries is known as fracture-dislocation, where the bone breaks, but since the ligaments have been also damaged, the bones slide away from each other.
Nerves play a vital role in transporting information that controls body sensations and movements to the brain. Lower back nerve damage happens when too much pressure is applied to a nerve surrounding the tissues like cartilage, tendons, muscles, or bones. This pressure affects the nerve’s function, leading to pain, numbness, weakness, tingling, or increased sensitivity.
Soft Tissue Injuries
STI or soft tissue injuries occur when overuse or trauma to the ligaments, tendons, and muscles occurs. STIs usually happen during exercise and sports activities, but the injuries can also happen during simple everyday tasks.
What is Involved in the Diagnostic Process for Back Injuries?
Medical or clinical diagnosis is a process that is meant to identify the underlying cause(s) of the back injury or pain. The doctor determines the cause of injury via a combination of the following steps:
Reviewing Your Medical History
Your doctor will ask a series of questions like a description of when the injury and the symptoms occurred, how it feels, and what treatments or activities make the pain feel worse or better. A comprehensive review of your medical history and records will also be done.
This evaluation is done in the clinic, and it’s likely to include various aspects of a thorough examination. These include:
- An array of motion tests to assess the alignment and mobility of the involved joints
- Visual inspection of the skin overlying the affected region as well as the overall posture
- Hands-on assessment by palpating for muscle spasms and tender regions.
- Segmental assessment to check every spinal segment for ideal motion
- Neurological assessment, including tests of skin sensation, muscle strength, cranial nerves, and reflexes.
This is a form of diagnosis that checks for neck and back pain issues through the following:
This form of imaging shows the details of the bony structures in your spine. It is especially useful in identifying fractures or degenerative changes and can help identify some forms of rheumatological causes of pain like osteoarthritis. If the doctor suspects spinal instability, they may also order extension and flexion X-rays.
Computerized tomography is a form of imaging that utilizes radiation to create an array of cross-section images using a computer. For a better view of soft tissues, a CT scan is done with a contrast dye that’s injected into the spinal canal
This is another common option for checking the spine and soft tissues, including nerve roots and discs. MRI scans ideally help in distinguishing between acute and chronic conditions. When it comes to assessing a spine with a history of surgery, an MRI is done after a contrast dye is injected for a better view of blood flow in the affected region.
What Are the Various Types of Treatment for Back Injuries?
We offer several options for back injury treatment in Atlanta, including:
Chiropractic care offers a more affordable and less invasive alternative to traditional medical treatments. Essentially, it helps to eliminate the need for side-effect ridden pain relief medications or complicated surgical procedures.
Chiropractic adjustment has been found to be particularly effective in treating neck pain and lower back pain. The belief is that spinal manipulation and alignment helps to reduce pressure on the central nervous system. In addition, chiropractic adjustments help to reduce chronic inflammation, which is responsible for causing pain and body aches.
Working out may be the last thing you want with an injured back and it may seem counterintuitive. However, physical activity has been shown to be an effective way to recuperate faster from pains and aches.
Core workouts strengthen the muscles in your back and abdomen that support the spine. The stronger they become, the fewer the chances of being affected by back pain.
Low-Level Laser Treatment (LLLT)
LLLT is a form of treatment that applies light-emitting diodes or low-level lasers to the body surface. It’s known to affect the function of fibroblasts (connective tissue cells), act as an anti-inflammatory agent, and hasten the repair of connective tissue.
This is a form of treatment that entails using both heat and cold to encourage healing. It’s as simple as putting a bag of ice on the tender regions of the lower back to alleviate inflammation. After a few days, you switch from the cold treatment to warm baths and heating pads. The warmth is meant to loosen the tight muscles causing the pain.
TENS or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation entails using electrodes placed on the skin to provide electronic stimulation to the nerves. The electric waves block pain signals traveling through the nerve pads, thus providing relief.
Call Today to Get Started With Your Back Injury Treatment in Atlanta
Back injuries can be very painful and discomforting, affecting your ability to go about your day. However, this does not have to be the case. If you reside in Atlanta and the surrounding areas, you can seek relief by contacting HURT 911 at 855-475-2588 today!
Our team of doctors at Hurt 911 Injury Center has been helping and treating back injury victims for over two decades.