10 Common Causes of Back Injuries and Treatment Options

At Chicago Personal Injury Centers, we often encounter patients grappling with varying degrees of back injuries. Located in the heart of Chicago, IL, with locations across the city to serve you, we’ve seen firsthand the many causes leading to these injuries, as well as the repercussions they can bring to a person’s life. In our experience, understanding the causes is pivotal to preventing back injuries in the future. In this blog post, we will delve into some of the most common reasons behind back injuries. If you are dealing with back pain, contact our office today at (773) 482-5800 to speak with an experienced medical professional.

1. Poor Posture

Over time, maintaining poor posture can lead to chronic back pain. Slouching at your desk, hunching over your smartphone, or standing improperly can strain the spine’s muscles and ligaments. Over time, this strain may lead to imbalances and pain. Regularly checking in on your posture, especially during prolonged activities, can help in preventing injuries.

2. Heavy Lifting

Lifting heavy objects without proper technique is one of the primary culprits behind back injuries. Using your back instead of your legs to lift, carrying objects too far away from your body, or twisting while lifting can all result in acute injuries like sprains or even more severe injuries such as herniated discs.

3. Accidents and Trauma

Accidental falls, car accidents, and sports-related injuries often cause acute back injuries. Direct impact, sudden twists, or forceful movements can damage the spine, ligaments, and muscles. Protective measures, like wearing seat belts and using safety gear during sports, can mitigate these risks.

4. Repetitive Movements

Engaging in the same action repeatedly—like swinging a tennis racket or using a specific tool at work—can lead to muscle fatigue and overuse injuries. This repetition can strain the back muscles, leading to inflammation and pain.

5. Sedentary Lifestyle

With the rise of desk jobs and increased screen time, many individuals lead a predominantly sedentary lifestyle. Lack of physical activity weakens the back muscles, making them more prone to injury.

6. Obesity

Excess weight, particularly around the midsection, adds strain to the lower back muscles. Over time, this extra weight can lead to chronic back pain and increase the risk of injury.

7. Osteoporosis

As we age, our bones can become brittle and porous due to conditions like osteoporosis. This weakening of bones increases the risk of fractures, especially in the spine.

8. Wear and Tear

The spine undergoes natural wear and tear as we age. Disc degeneration, arthritis, and narrowing of the spinal canal (spinal stenosis) can all contribute to back pain and injuries.

9. Genetics

Though not as common, some back problems can be traced back to genetic factors. If there’s a family history of certain spine conditions, it’s essential to be aware of the increased risk.

10. Work Environment

Jobs that require prolonged sitting, heavy lifting, or repetitive bending and twisting pose a higher risk for back injuries. Employers should ensure ergonomic workspaces and provide frequent breaks to reduce this risk.

Preventing Back Injuries

Given our experience at Chicago Personal Injury Centers, we believe that prevention is better than cure. Consider these measures to protect your back:

  • Stay Active: Regular exercise, especially those focusing on core strength, can support and protect your back.
  • Mind Your Posture: Whether standing, sitting, or lifting, maintaining good posture can prevent undue strain on your back.
  • Ergonomic Workspace: If you spend hours at a desk, ensure that your workspace is set up to support your spine. This includes a supportive chair, monitor at eye level, and feet flat on the ground.
  • Lift Properly: Always bend at the knees, not the waist. Use your leg muscles to lift heavy objects and avoid twisting.

Treatments for Back Injuries

When it comes to back injuries, it’s essential to know that treatment options are vast and tailored to the specific type and severity of the injury. At Chicago Personal Injury Centers, we pride ourselves on offering a range of treatments that cater to our patients’ unique needs. Here’s an overview of some common treatments for back injuries:

Injections for Back Pain

Injections are a popular option for those looking to alleviate pain without surgery. These can include:

  • Epidural Steroid Injections (ESIs): These are commonly used to treat radicular pain or pain that radiates from the spine to an arm or leg. The injection delivers steroids directly to the painful area, reducing inflammation and relieving pain.
  • Facet Joint Injections: Administered in the joints located along the back of the spine, these injections can diagnose or treat pain stemming from these joints.
  • Trigger Point Injections: These can treat muscle knots that form when muscles don’t relax, often causing pain in the back.

Massage Therapy

Therapeutic massage can relieve pain, help heal certain conditions, and prevent issues from becoming chronic. Massage promotes relaxation, increases circulation, and can aid in easing muscle tension and pain.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapists use an array of methods to treat back injuries. These can include exercises, stretches, modalities (like ultrasound or electrical stimulation), and hands-on techniques. The goal is to improve mobility, strengthen the back and core muscles, and provide pain relief.

Chiropractic Treatments

Chiropractors focus on spinal manipulation and manual adjustment techniques. The aim of chiropractic treatment is to restore function to affected areas and reduce pain. They may also provide recommendations on exercise, diet, and lifestyle to support recovery.

Surgical Procedures

In cases where conservative treatments don’t provide relief, or the injury is too severe, surgery may be the best option. Common surgical procedures include:

  • Discectomy: Removal of a herniated disc fragment that is pressing on the spinal cord or nerves.
  • Laminectomy: Widening of the spinal canal to relieve pressure caused by spinal stenosis.
  • Spinal Fusion: Fusing together two or more vertebrae to restrict movement and stabilize the spine.
  • Artificial Disc Replacement: Replacing a damaged disc with an artificial one.

It’s important to note that surgery is typically considered a last resort and is reserved for cases where other treatments have been ineffective or if the injury itself necessitates surgical intervention.

Dealing With Back Pain? Call Chicago Personal Injury Centers NOW!

Back injuries can be debilitating, but a range of treatments – from non-invasive therapies to surgical interventions – ensures that individuals have access to the care they need. At Chicago Personal Injury Centers, we prioritize a holistic approach, considering all available options to provide the best possible care for our patients. If you’re suffering from a back injury, call our office today at (773) 482-5800 – we’re here to guide you on the path to recovery with a customized treatment plan built specifically for you and your specific needs and injury.