Back pain is a widespread issue, affecting millions of people and leading to a significant decrease in the quality of life. The causes of back injuries are many: work-related tasks, everyday activities, or accidents.
In this article, the doctors at our Decatur injury center discuss back injuries, focusing on their causes, prevention strategies, and available treatment options.
Understanding Back Injuries
The back is a complex structure composed of bones, muscles, ligaments, and nerves. This intricate network supports our body weight, facilitates movement, and protects vital organs. Unfortunately, this complexity also makes the back susceptible to various injuries.
In 2018, the Central Registry reported 570 spinal cord injuries that required treatment in Georgia.
Common Types of Back Injuries
- Muscle strains and sprains: Overexertion, lifting heavy objects, or sudden twisting movements can cause these common injuries, resulting in pain and stiffness.
- Disc herniation: When the soft inner material of a spinal disc bulges or ruptures, it can press on surrounding nerves, leading to pain, numbness, and weakness.
- Spinal stenosis: Narrowing of the spinal canal due to bone spurs or disc degeneration can compress nerves, causing pain, tingling, and difficulty walking.
- Spondylolisthesis: Slipping of one vertebra over another can cause pain, instability, and nerve compression.
Causes of Back Injuries
With an annual cost of 200 billion dollars at national level, back injuries represent a major reason for seeking medical care, both in primary care and emergency settings. The most common causes of these injuries, attested by the doctors at our Decatur injury center, are:
Many Decatur residents work in physically demanding jobs, such as construction, healthcare, or transportation. Repetitive lifting, awkward postures, and long hours of sitting can strain the back and increase the risk of injury.
The most common injuries in car accidents are whiplash and back injuries due to the sudden, forceful impact, causing the upper body to move backward and forward in a rapid succession.
Falls are a common cause of back injuries, especially among older adults. Also, people suffering from other preexisting conditions, such as arthritis and osteoporosis, may suffer severe back injuries, even after a simple stumble and fall.
Poor posture, inadequate workstation setup, and lack of exercise can increase the load on the back and lead to gradual wear and tear.
Prevention Tips to Avoid Back Injuries
- Practice proper lifting techniques: Avoid bending over at the waist when lifting; bend your knees and keep your back straight. Engage your core muscles and lift with your legs, not your back.
- Maintain good posture: Stand tall with your shoulders back and relaxed, and avoid slouching while sitting or standing.
- Take regular breaks: Avoid sitting or standing for extended periods. Get up and move around every 30 minutes to reduce muscle strain.
- Strengthen your core muscles: Strong core muscles support your spine and improve your overall stability. Consider exercises like planks, bridges, and squats.
- Invest in ergonomics: Adjust your workstation to optimize your posture. Use a supportive chair, keep your monitor at eye level, and position your keyboard and mouse at a comfortable height.
- Maintain a healthy weight: Excess weight puts additional stress on your back. Eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly can help manage your weight and reduce back pain risk.
Treatment Options in Decatur
If you experience back pain, it’s essential to seek medical advice promptly. At our injury center in Decatur, various healthcare professionals can help you recover from back injuries, including:
- Primary care physicians: Can diagnose the cause of your back pain, recommend initial treatment steps, and refer you to specialists if needed.
- Orthopedic surgeons: Specialize in diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal conditions, including back injuries. They may recommend surgery for severe cases.
- Physical therapists: Develop personalized exercise programs to strengthen your core, improve flexibility, and manage pain.
- Chiropractors: Perform manual adjustments to the spine to improve alignment and relieve pain.
- Pain management specialists: Employ various techniques, such as nerve blocks or injections, to control pain and improve function.
Legal Considerations for Back Injuries in Georgia
If your back injury resulted from an accident, such as a car crash or workplace incident, you may be entitled to compensation under Georgia law. Consulting with a personal injury attorney in Decatur can help you understand your legal rights and navigate the claims process.
Here are some essential points regarding Georgia’s legal landscape for back injuries:
Workers’ Compensation Claim
Your first line of defense in a work-related back injury is Georgia’s Workers’ Compensation Act (O.C.G.A. § 34-9-1 et seq.). This no-fault system mandates employers to provide financial and medical benefits to employees injured on the job, regardless of who caused the injury.
Personal Injury Lawsuits
If your back injury resulted from someone else’s negligence, such as a car accident, product defect, or medical malpractice, you may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit under Georgia’s tort law. This option can provide more comprehensive compensation than workers’ compensation, including pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life and punitive damages.
Our Decatur Injury Center Can Help You Recover from Back Injuries!
Back injuries can significantly impact your daily life, both physically and emotionally. Our doctors and legal team are here for you to help you recover and seek compensation, if applicable.
Get in touch with Georgia Injury Centers at 855-475-2588 for prompt treatment and professional guidance to help you regain your health and well-being!