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What are the most common back injuries?

The back is largely considered one of the most important part of the body. It’s also one of the most misused with thousands of common back injuries across the country each day.

The back consists of thirty-three vertebrae: seven cervical vertebrae in the neck region, twelve thoracic vertebrae in the chest region, five lumbar vertebrae in the lower back region, and five sacral vertebrae fused together in the hip area. While housing the vital spinal cord and connected to strong muscles, this chain of smaller bones enables us to bend and move in ways that makes everyone’s lives easier—until it doesn’t.

Back pain is one of the leading causes that patients see a doctor. From painful muscles spasms when standing or sitting, to shooting pains all up and down the spine that make it hard to concentrate on anything else, at least everyone has experienced back pain in some shape or form.

Common Muscular Back Injuries

The three groups of muscles attach to your lower back: extensor muscles (which enable standing and lifting things), flexor muscles (which help with flexing and bending), and oblique muscles (that assists in rotating the spine and maintaining posture).

Back strains (when the muscles are overextended or torn) and back sprains (when the ligaments that attach to muscles to spine are torn) are some of the most common muscular injuries. Sports activities, such as football, baseball or gymnastics are common causes of these, as the body is stretched and the overexerted in play. Falls, slips, and car accidents are also frequent causes of muscular back injuries.

The symptoms are usually:

  • Stiffness
  • Difficulty in maintaining proper posture
  • Back pain that can last up to fourteen days

Bedrest in a correct position and an anti-inflammatory pain reliever are the normal treatments of back strains and sprains. Occasionally, additional treatments are needed to help relieve the symptoms, as well as braces that prevent future or continual damage. All of which your doctors at Freedom Health Centers are specially trained in. Be sure to consult your doctor at Freedom Health Centers for proper dosage and the treatment.

Common Spinal Injuries

The spine, although wrapped in a cocoon of muscles, is delicate. Cracks and stress fractures (such as spondylolysis) happen, whether it’s from a physical activity or an accident. Genetics also play a hand in these back injuries, leaving a weakness in the spine that is prone to breakage. Symptoms include:

  • A sharp pain in the back
  • Pain shooting down the buttocks and back of the thighs
  • Worsen during activity and lessens when resting
  • Back muscle spasms
  • Back stiffness
  • Difficulty standing and walking

If left untreated, these back injuries could worsen. Small fractures and cracks can become breaks in the vertebrae, damaging nerves around and even leaking spinal fluid, resulting in back pain and dizzying migraines. If not caught in time, extensive surgeries are required to fix the damaged vertebrae.

No matter the stage of injury, through the use of inquiries of the patient’s medical history, a gentle and skillful examination to feel the injured area to check for abnormalities, and currant technology and surgeries, our doctors strive to come with the best possible plan of treatment for patient’s individual needs.

Common Nerve Related Back Pain

For some patients, the pain might start in the back, but it doesn’t stay there. Injuries such as Sciatica (where sharp pain shoots down one or both legs), cervical radiculopathy (when a nerve is pinched in the neck, resulting in numbness, pain or weakness that effects the arms and chest too), and thoracic radiculopathy (a rare nervous disease in the middle of the spine) are all examples of when the vertebrae slide off their alignment or become compressed. The surrounding nerves or spinal cord gets ‘pinched’ and is very painful. Because of the nature of the injury, the pain can spread to other parts of the body and can be easily mistaken for other ailments.

While painkillers and surgery are common treatments for spinal damage, advances in medicine and chiropractic care have allowed for patients to be healed with less side effects and risks. Such treatments available at in the Freedom Health Centers include:

  • Electrical stimulation to relieve painful or damage nerves
  • Spinal alignment therapy to lessen the pressure on compressed discs and reposition slipped vertebrae
  • Steroid shots as needed to minimize pain in a target location.

The professionals at Freedom Health Centers will strive to create a unique plan for each patient to get them back to their fittest.

Everyday Habits that Cause Back Pain

As we go about the day, there are habits that you unknowingly have that might be causing back pain. These habits, that seem small a first, can pile up over time until your muscles or spine can no longer handle it and begin to ache every day, for no obvious reason. Some habits include:

  • Bad posture, while sitting or standing
  • Overexerting yourself while exercising or doing physical labor
  • Lifting unbalanced or heavy loads with your back instead of your legs
  • Lifting children with your back instead of your legs
  • Sitting too long without occasional breaks for a quick stretch or walk
  • Untreated mental problems, such as anxiety or depression

Back Injury Treatment

To a patient, ‘back pain’ is more than two simple words. Be it a constant dull throbbing, stabbing pain, numbness, or headache that just won’t go away, patients’ lives are affected. Which is why the professionals at Freedom Health Centers take their practice very seriously. While taking into the regards each patient’s personal history, we use the extensive medical knowledge that we have and join it with the state-of-the-art technology and testing at our disposal to narrow down the cause of each patient’s back pain. Through careful and personalize treatments, we strive to enable all patients to return to their lives pain free.

No matter how big or small, whether it be a sudden injury or a steadily forming one, the professionals at Freedom Health Centers are ready and willing to help. Call today at (972) 542-3300.