If you’ve suffered back injuries in an Auto Accident, Contact the Clearwater office of David Wall, MD.
Low Back Injury – Treatment and Rehabilitation of low back injuries resulting from an auto accident.
Like the neck, the low back or lumbar spine is composed of bones (vertebrae), nerves, discs, tendons, muscles and ligaments. Commonly, low back injuries involve a number of these tissues and may result in long term dysfunction and chronic low back pain if not properly treated.
Lumbar Back sprains
Ligaments are bands of fibrous tissue that connect bones together and help to stabilize joints. When those ligaments are stretched or torn in the back, the result is a sprain, which results in back pain and stiffness.
Lumbar Back strain
When the muscles of the back are stretched or torn, it is known as a back strain. Sometimes, these are called “pulled muscles.” They often occur when the muscles are suddenly and powerfully contracted or when they stretch unusually far.
Back strains can cause back spasms, a very painful condition. Lumbar nerves leave the spinal cord in the lumbar spine area and travel down into the legs. Along the way, the nerves supply sensation (feeling) to the skin of the legs and supply electrical signals to certain muscles to move parts of the legs. When a nerve is irritated or pinched, by either a bone spur or a fragment of a herniated (ruptured) disc or even stretched by trauma, it causes the nerve to not work properly.
The result can be weakness in the muscles supplied by the nerve, numbness in the skin supplied by the nerve, or pain in the area where the nerve travels. These radiating symptoms are called radiculopathy.
When motion puts too much pressure on a disc, a herniated disc may result. Sometimes these are called “slipped discs” or “ruptured discs.” In this injury, the annulus, the outer portion of the disc, is torn and part of the nucleus pulposus, the inner gel like substance of the disc, squeezes out from the center of the disc. The
disc can be thought of as a jelly donut with an outer ring and jelly within. In this analogy, the jelly may leak out of the donut when placed under mechanical stress as would occur from an acute injury. If the tear is on the side of the disc next to the spinal canal, the nucleus pulposus can press against the spinal nerves. This
pressure can cause pain, numbness and weakness along the nerve. There is also evidence that chemicals released from the ruptured disc may irritate the nerve root, leading to some of the symptoms of a herniated disc, especially pain.
The Facet Joints are small joints in the back that allow the vertebrae to properly move. These joints may also be injured and can result in muscle spasm and pain.
There are a number of medical tests that can be performed on a patient who is thought to have sustained back injuries as a result of an auto accident. In some cases, back injuries can be diagnosed through the use of x-rays. Medical professionals can also use CT or CAT scans, MRIs, myelograms, iscograms, electromyograms and bone scans to determine the nature and extent of a back injury resulting from an auto accident. However, injuries to the tendons, ligaments, muscles and facets often are not shown on these tests and require evaluation by a physician skilled in diagnosis of these injuries to determine the cause and provide proper treatment.
It is important to seek medical attention early to obtain a proper diagnosis and begin the process of recovery to try and avoid long term back pain.
Your medical bills are covered, do not delay treatment, call The Office of David Wall, MD today!