The back is an intricate structure of bones, muscles and other tissues extending from your neck to your pelvis. We all know people who have complained about an aching back. It is easy to think these people are just complaining and aren't seriously hurt. However, back injuries are serious and can result from sports injuries, work around the house, working in the garden or any sudden impact such as a car accident. The lower back is one of the most common sites of back injuries and pain. If you have been in a car accident, there are issues of speed and force that impact your back. The human body is fragile and too much force will cause back injuries.
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Common back injuries
The most common back injury is a sprain or strain as well as herniated discs. All three of these can be painful and should be treated as soon as you can see a doctor. In case you're unsure what these are, here is a brief description of each:
- A sprain is a stretched or torn ligament. You can get a sprain if you fall, twist or get hit by something. Symptoms include: pain, swelling, bruising and being unable to move your joint. You might also feel a pop or tear when the injury happens.
- A strain is a stretched or torn muscle or tendon. Similar to a sprain, a strain can also be caused by falling, twisting or hitting something. Strains can happen suddenly or develop over time. Symptoms are similar to a sprain, but also include trouble moving the muscle.
- A herniated disk is a disk that slips out of place. Symptoms include: muscle spasms or weakness, pain that spreads to the upper thigh (when the injured disk is in the lower back). You could also feel pain in your neck, shoulder and upper arm if the injured disc is in the upper back. Tingling or numbness is another symptom. Unfortunately, most treatments for a herniated disc are only temporary. Surgery is often the only option.
What to do if you have back pain
If you are suffering from back pain, you know how painful it is. It's also hard to do your normal daily routine. If you've been in an accident, whether it was a fall or a car accident, go see your doctor right away. While you're on your way to the doctor's, it's not a bad idea to apply a heating pad to your injured back (assuming you don't have an open wound). That will help ease the pain. Try not to wait to see a doctor. You don't want to wait for your back pain to get worse. Also, when you go to the doctor's, make sure that you are honest about your back pain. That will help the doctor treat your pain more accurately. Thus, helping you recover faster.