Back injuries are extremely common, especially injuries to the lower back. They can be caused by a sudden impact, like a jolt from a rear-end car accident. A minor back injury might only need a few days of rest, and most back injuries get better by themselves within 6 weeks.
But, many variables determine how quickly someone recovers, such as age, fitness level, and how long you have had the pain. The healing process can be faster if you are someone who exercises regularly and your day-to-day activities include a moderate level of physical activity. Over-the-counter pain medications and physical therapy can, in many cases, relieve pain, along with the application of cold or heat compression to the painful area.
Severe back injuries may require years of physical therapy. Surgery is a last resort. In the most serious cases, a back injury could result in permanent damage. This will affect you and your family for the remainder of your life. You will have to adapt and make changes as you adjust to your new life.
If you or a loved one have suffered a serious back injury due to someone else’s negligence or a car accident, then contact our highly experienced attorneys at The Law Place. Our personal injury lawyers have over 75 years of combined experience in working with the Florida legal system and helping victims of back injuries receive the maximum amount of compensation available.
Call us for an initial free consultation the moment you have your diagnosis so that we can begin work on your case immediately. Contact The Law Place on (941) 444-4444.
The Anatomy of the Back
The spine is one of the most important parts of the human body. The spine is a column of bones (vertebrae) that is meshed together by muscles, tendons, and ligaments. These are all cushioned by shock-absorbing discs.
The spine contains three segments:
- The cervical spine – Links to the neck and has seven small vertebrae. It can be found at the base of the skull to the upper chest.
- The thoracic spine – Has 12 vertebrae. It can be found at the upper chest, extending to the middle back and connecting to the rib cage.
- The lumbar spine – Has five vertebrae located in the lower back. Lumbar vertebrae are bigger because they carry more of the body’s weight.
An injury to any part of your spine can cause back pain. Some typical back injuries are:
- Soft tissue injuries.
- Muscle spasm.
- Sprains and strains.
Lower back pain may be linked to the bony lumbar spine, discs between the vertebrae, ligaments around the spine and discs, spinal cord and nerves, lower back muscles, and the skin around the lumbar area. Lumbar strains are among the most common causes of lower back pain.
Lower back pain symptoms range from sharp muscle spasms to dull aches. The pain can be constant or intermittent. Acute lower back pain can appear suddenly after an injury and cause muscle strains.
What Causes Back Injury?
You can injure your back doing any type of physical activity, especially when engaging in activities that you do not perform very often, such as lifting heavy objects. A back injury can happen from working around the house, gardening, or overdoing it at the gym. It can happen from a sudden jolt in a car accident (especially a rear-end collision) or from medical negligence. It can be the result of a sudden movement or fall.
Muscle strain is the most often cited cause of back pain.
The most important thing you can do is tune in to your body’s signals and symptoms. If you are suffering from any pain, this is a signal from your body alerting you that something is wrong. Although counterintuitive, one of the most important things you can do is stay active. Doctors have now stated that it is a common myth that bed rest will cure back pain. Instead of aiding recovery, bed rest slows down the recovery period and can increase your pain.
Remember, in many cases, people recover after taking good care of themselves at home. It is important to be aware of the various symptoms. Some will require a visit to your doctor but are not an emergency. Certain other symptoms will require emergency medical attention.
Symptoms That Require Urgent Medical Attention
- Pain that has not reduced despite home treatments over a week.
- Pain that is continuous and is interfering with your day-to-day activities.
- You are concerned about the pain and struggling to cope with it.
Symptoms That Require Emergency Medical Attention
- Bladder or bowel dysfunction.
- Difficulty breathing.
- Numbness or pins and needles to the arms, legs, hands, or feet.
- Weakness or pain in your legs.
- Fever symptoms and a high temperature.
- Blood in urine.
How Back Injuries Are Treated
When you visit your medical provider, they will ask you to describe your symptoms. They will want to check how your spinal cord is working. It is important to make sure you let them know if you are experiencing any difficulties when going to the toilet. You may be asked to perform certain movements. This will help determine your range of motion limitations, and it will highlight exactly what increases or decreases your pain.
An x-ray for low back pain will be required if you have significant problems with bladder and bowel control, severe pain, or weakness in one or both legs. They will suggest, in most cases, that you remain active. Pain relievers or anti-inflammatories will be recommended for pain relief, especially chronic pain.
If an episode of lower back pain remains persistent after a month or keeps reoccurring, then it will be advisable to make an appointment with a physical therapist. If the pain is acutely severe, then you should make an appointment with a physical therapist immediately. The therapist will assess your injuries and pain, and then put together a plan for recovery. They are likely to suggest a range of gentle exercises for you to do at home.
Help Ease Injuries to Your Back By
- Using ice packs or compresses for 20 minutes at a time every 3 to 4 hours for the first day to help reduce pain and swelling.
- Using a heating pad after the first day and taking warm showers and baths to help minimize pain and suffering.
- Avoiding physical activities such as bending, lifting, and twisting until you have fully recovered.
- Taking time off work to rest.
- Laying down flat on your back on a hard surface for support.
- Sleeping in a position that’s comfortable for your spine. Try pillows under your knees if you sleep on your back. If you sleep on your side, try a pillow between your legs. This will help the muscles to release.
- Keep active, but modify your usual activities.
- Moving around and stretch every 20 minutes to help the injury heal. Any movement that you engage in will help stimulate blood flow, increase flexibility, and prevent spasms.
- Practicing good posture.
Recovery Will Be Adversely Affected if You Engage in the Following
- Continue as though nothing has happened by ignoring the pain. Your body needs some recovery time.
- Sleep on your stomach. This can aggravate back pain.
- Lifting heavy objects or repetitive twisting will disrupt the recovery process. Avoid doing these things for up to six weeks.
- Sitting in the same position for long periods of time.
Contact The Law Place Today
The length of time that you experience back pain will depend on the type of injury you are dealing with and how quickly you seek medical advice and treatment. Any compensation that you receive for a back injury caused by an accident or someone’s medical negligence will depend on the severity of your injuries and pain, as well as how much money you have lost or may lose in wages. The highest amounts of compensation are reserved for severe injuries such as paralysis. Thankfully this type of injury is rare.
In order to pursue a claim, you will need to prove the extent of your injuries and pain, the length of treatment required, and the amount of time it will take for you to resume your normal day-to-day activities. Recovering compensation in Florida isn’t always easy. But when you hire a lawyer from The Law Place, you gain all the support you need to get the best compensation package available. We will explain all the options available before we begin work on your case. We have over 75 years of experience between us and have a stellar reputation in helping our clients receive the best service we can provide.
So if you or a loved one is suffering from a back injury that wasn’t your fault, then contact a lawyer from The Law Place immediately and take a step closer to getting the justice that you deserve. Our phone lines are open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, for your convenience. Don’t delay in picking up the phone and speaking to us today. Call us for a free consultation at (941) 444-4444.