Fractured vertebra, pain in arms or legs, numbness or tingling, muscle weakness What does it mean to injure your back? The back is made up of bones, muscles, and other tissues that extend from the neck to the pelvis. Back injuries can result from playing sports, working around the house or in the garden, car accidents at low or high speed, lifting heavy objects, or a fall. There can be many causes of back pain, including accidents, strains, and injuries. Two types of back injuries are spondylolisthesis and cervical radiculopathy.
Both have their own set of symptoms, causes, and treatments. There are many causes for spondylolisthesis. A vertebra may be defective from the moment a person is born, or a vertebra may be broken by trauma or stress fracture. In addition, vertebrae can break down due to infection or illness.
Spondylolisthesis is treated by strengthening the supporting abdominal and back muscles using physical therapy. Acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ketoprofen (Frotek), ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), and naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), can help relieve pain. Epidural steroid injections can also be effective. For patients who continue to have severe pain and disability despite these treatments, there are options such as decompressive laminectomy, a procedure in which the spinal canal is widened (to provide more space for nerves and spinal fusion is performed to stabilize the spinal cord), with or without fusion surgical (arthrodesis) of the vertebra, or the use of an implanted device to stabilize the vertebrae in the lower back while allowing more normal movement.
Lumbar (lower back) muscle strains and sprains are the most common causes of low back pain. Muscle strains and sprains are common in the lower back, because they support the weight of the upper body and participate in movement, twisting, and flexion. Lumbar muscle strain occurs when muscle fibers stretch or tear abnormally. A lumbar sprain occurs when ligaments (the strong bands of tissue that hold bones together) break away from their joints.
Both can be the result of sudden injury or gradual overuse. A lumbar strain or sprain can be debilitating. The signs and symptoms of common spinal conditions and injuries often depend on the affected spinal nerves. Sprains and strains are commonly treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, if the pain is mild to moderate.
Arthritis, degenerative joint disease, repetitive strenuous activities, improper lifting, and tumors are other common causes of non-trauma-related spinal problems. Sports activities such as diving, contact sports, horse riding, and others are also common sources of injury. A common source of back pain is an injury of some kind, and the lower back seems to be the most affected site.