Lower back injuries are fairly common, but they can leave a person sidelined and unable to sit or stand. Many of our clients cannot return to work for months following a lower back injury, and their medical expenses are considerable.
Below, our personal injury attorney highlights the steps to take if you are suffering from lower back pain. When an accident has caused your injury, please contact Groth & Associates for a free consultation.
Many lower back injuries are caused by accidents, such as car wrecks or slip and fall accidents. Others might be caused by the job, in which case you should immediately stop working. Tell your boss that you are injured. Continued exertion only increases the risk that you will aggravate the back injury further.
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Visit the Doctor
There are many different causes of lower back pain, and we do not encourage people to self-diagnose their injury. Instead, go to the doctor or hospital promptly and discuss your symptoms. Your doctor will also ask you questions to help understand how the injury happened.
Some of the more common causes of lower back pain include:
- Sprain or strain
- Herniated disc
- Vertebral fracture
- Degenerative disc disease
- Narrowing of the spinal column (spinal stenosis)
The doctor might order an X-ray or MRI to take a look at what is going on in your lower back. A proper diagnosis is vital since you cannot receive adequate treatment without knowing the underlying condition.
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Treat a Sprain or Strain with Ice
If you wrenched your back lifting something, you can treat it with ice packs at home to reduce swelling and pain. You might also use over-the-counter medications, like ibuprofen, to control inflammation and provide relief.
After a few days, your doctor might recommend introducing gentle stretching to regain flexibility in the area. If the pain does not subside after a week, you might have suffered a very serious injury and could require surgery.
Receive Conservative Treatment for a Lower Back Injury
Not every back injury requires surgery. Some respond to rehabilitation and other conservative treatment, such as steroid injections to reduce inflammation.
Physical therapy can help a person with a serious lower back injury reduce stress on the muscles and vertebrae. You might learn new ways of doing everyday tasks, such as lifting objects, so you do not aggravate your back condition. Often, a patient must learn to strengthen certain “core” muscles to compensate for any limitation in their back.
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Some lower back injuries are so serious that surgery is unavoidable. For example, a herniated disc might be so severe that a surgeon must remove the damaged tissue so it no longer puts pressure on nearby nerves. In some cases, vertebrae might need to be fused together to limit their range of movement.
Surgery has many complications, such as the risk of infection and long recovery times. Discuss your concerns with your doctor.
Our Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help
Whether you were injured on the job or in an accident, you might qualify for compensation. At Groth & Associates, we can discuss your case in a complimentary consultation if you call.