Types of Back and Neck Injuries
In 2010, there were approximately 24,000 injury-causing crashes in Oklahoma, according to the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office. Due to the violent, jolting nature of most auto accidents, two of the most common types of collision related injuries are found in the back and neck area.
While the initial pain from this type of injury can be felt immediately after occurring, it’s important to note that in many cases, the pain is not felt for up to three days AFTER the incident has taken place.
However despite this, most victims agree that back and neck injuries can cause debilitating pain that greatly limits their mobility and overall quality of life.
If you or someone you love has suffered a spinal injury due to a crash or collision that was caused by someone else, the victim may be eligible to receive compensation for any damages that are associated with the incident.
Common Causes Of Back And Neck Injuries
While automotive accidents contribute to many back and neck injuries, they are not the only cause of these troublesome injuries.
Some common causes of back and neck injuries can also include:
- Motorcycle Crashes
- Slips and falls
- Blows to the head
- Falls from a short distance or from a significant height
- Lifting heavy objects
Its also worth noting that pain related to this part of the body can be a source of constant, chronic pain for injury victims. In fact, almost nine out of ten adults experience back pain at some point in their life.
Symptoms Of A Back or Neck Injury
While the symptoms of a back or neck injury can range from mild to severe, most people are acutely aware if they have suffered a spine-related injury.
Some common symptoms to look out for include:
- Tingling sensation in the extremities (hands / toes)
- Loss of bladder control
- Throbbing pain – especially in the lumbar region
- Shooting pain down one or both legs
- Loss of feeling in limbs
A common source of back or neck pain can be attributed to a vertebrae being fractured, of which there are five ways that this can occur – Flexion Failure, Compression Fracture, Axial Burst, Fracture Dislocation and a Transverse Process Fracture.
Types of Back and Neck Injuries
Known in medical circles as the “Cervical” and “Thoracic” area of the spine, the neck and upper back of the human anatomy is an intricate structure of bones, muscles and other tissues that begin at the base of the skulls and extend all the way down to the tailbone.
The “Lumbar” and “Sacral Spine” are the lower-mid to bottom end areas of the spine – the pain from which are recognized as being the fifth most-common reason that adults visit a doctor in the U.S each year.
There are two primary types of back and neck injuries, which are classified into groups:
An acute injury can happen in a blink of an eye. These types of injuries cause individuals sudden and severe pain. It is not uncommon for bruising and swelling to occur at the injury location. Sprains, strains, fractures and ruptured discs are all considered to be acute injuries.
- Sprains and Strains– A strain is an injury to the muscles and tendons in the back or neck; they can occur from the stretching or tearing of a muscle or tendon. When an individual stretches or tears a ligament, it is considered to be a sprain.
- Spinal fractures and dislocations– Doctors have many categories for spinal fractures. They can be divided into three categories, fractures, dislocations and fracture-dislocations. A spinal fracture occurs when more physical force is put on the bone than it can take. Dislocations occur when the ligaments and discs connecting two vertebrae are stretched or torn, sometimes causing the bone to come out of alignment. When the bone is broken and the ligaments are torn, the injury is referred to a fracture-dislocation.
- Herniated, Torn or Ruptured Discs – The discs in the human back act as cushions between the spine and vertebrae. Occasionally, the material inside the disc can bulge out of place, causing pressure on the nerve. Sometimes a patient can have a bulging disc without experiencing any discomfort or pain.
As the name implies, an overuse injury is primary caused by a muscle being over used or over extended to the point where the muscle, disc or bone is damaged.
An individual can sustain an overuse injury from improper movements such as:
For example a truck driver can sustain an overuse injury from driving for long periods of time. Overuse injury symptoms appear gradually or while a person is doing common everyday activities, with common symptoms including muscle spasms, pain and stiffness.
Diagnosing a Back or Neck Injury
Before a medical professional diagnoses your neck or back injury, they may begin to assess the damage simply by learning of your ability to sit, stand and walk. In some exams, your doctor may also test your reflexes and the strength of your grip.
If the doctor suspects that you have a serious injury, they may order one of the following tests:
- X-rays– This image will show the alignment of your bones. Also, X-rays can discover broken bones and arthritis.
- MRIs- A MRI will show your physician a detailed image of your bones, soft tissues and the nerves attached to the spinal cord.
- CT scans- CT scans produce a cross-sectional view of your back and neck by combining X-ray images from several directions.
It’s important to note that while many back injury victims begin to feel relief from pain within two to four weeks, in most instances, the costs of medical treatments and physiotherapy can caused great financial hardship for those effected.
With this in mind, by hiring the services of an attorney, an injury victim may be eligible to obtain compensation to cover the costs of these treatments – along with any other expense associated with the injury.
Treating Back and Neck Injuries
The type of treatment that your doctor recommends will depend on the severity of the damage and also the location of the injury itself.
However, some of the most common treatments for back and neck injuries are:
- Prescription medications
- Over-the-counter painkillers
- Physical therapy
In many instances, the these treatments are administered over a considerable period of time, which – in some cases – may also include physical therapy to help rebuild damage muscle or to restore muscle mass that has started to atrophy due to lack of use.
Suffering From An Accident Related Neck Injury?
If your or a family member has suffered a back or neck injury in auto accident, a slip and fall accident or at the workplace that was not caused due to your own actions, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit.
At the Edwards Law Firm, our Tulsa personal injury attorneys have decades of experience helping injury victims throughout:
…. and are ready to help fight for your MAXIMUM injury compensation.
We have won more than $70 MILLION in successful verdicts and settlements for our clients, and can provide the experience and dedication to help you navigate the often-complicated injury litigation process.
To schedule a 100% free case evaluation, contact us today at 1-800-304-9246. A member from our intake staff will answer your inquiry, and shortly after obtaining some initial information about your incident, you will be connected to one of our attorneys – it’s that easy.