Written by Andy Zapata
If you’ve suffered a back injury, you know how painful it can be. Back injuries literally affect everything you do every single day. Walking, sitting, driving, standing…no matter what you do, what position you’re in, you’re in constant pain. Ignoring the pain isn’t going to help, nor will applying a heating pad intermittently throughout the day (though you might get some temporary relief from that).
If your back has been injured, especially from a car accident, seek medical attention before the problem becomes even worse. You can begin by calling us at Physical Therapy Now because there’s a good chance you’ll need physical therapy to get you back to a pain free, normal life.
Types of Back Injuries
- Thoracic spine injuries: These injuries tend to be serious, as this part of the spine is in the upper back and connects to the ribs and chest. Usually, the result of high-velocity, high-impact car accidents, thoracic spine injuries can cause permanent nerve damage.
- Lumbar spine injuries: The lumbar region, consisting of the five largest vertebrae and the strongest of the muscles necessary to provide stability for the spine, is often injured in car accidents, and the results are quite painful. This area can sustain sprains (ligament damage) or strains (stretching of ligaments, muscle, or tendons), the results of which will have a direct impact on your day-to-day life. Lumbar spine injuries can cause bruising, swelling, limited movement, and tenderness.
- Herniated discs: A common (and very painful) lower-back injury, a herniated disc occurs when a disc–which is a soft cushion in between each vertebrae and helps protect the spine–becomes displaced due to trauma in the back. The displaced disc often presses against the spinal cord and/or nerves surrounding the area, causing a sharp pain in the lower back and numbness in the legs.
- Spinal cord injuries: As you probably guessed, these are the most serious back injuries, which can lead to partial or total paralysis, loss of feeling in certain parts of the body, loss of reflex, plus a slew of secondary medical conditions that may require long-term care and treatment. These injuries occur when the spinal cord is bruised or has suffered other types of trauma.
How to Treat Your Back Injury
Treatment for back injuries will obviously depend on the severity of the injury. Very serious injuries will more than likely require surgery; less serious injuries may call for long periods of rest or inactivity in order to allow the injuries and trauma to heal. Regarless of the injury, physical therapy could be highly recommended by your doctor.
How Can Physical Therapy Help My Back Injury?
Again, depending on the severity and type of injury sustained, physical therapy can greatly improve mobility and help you regain strength by targeting certain areas in the back to strengthen. A consistent course of PT can also help you manage any pain symptoms over time.
Physical Therapy for Back Injuries
If back pain, whether from a car accident or a different injury, is disrupting your life, physical therapy might just be the solution for you. In most cases, physical therapy can dramatically reduce or completely eliminate the pain you’ve been experiencing, and Physical Therapy Now is ready to help you! Call us today at (800) 481-4582 to get started on the road to recovery!