Common Types of Back Pain and What You Can Do to Treat It

Untold millions of people suffer from back pain every day from day-to-day activities, and even unexpected occurrences such as car accidents.  Dr. Jeffrey Friedman, MD, a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist for Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital states, “Most back pain can get better by itself,…[b]ut you can help speed the process by taking an early and active role.”

Low-Back Strain

One of the most common back injuries is low-back strain.  Lower back strain is an injury to the muscles, ligaments, or discs of the spine that often occurs as a result of heavy lifting or twisting in an unnatural or unusual way.

According to Main Line Health, some treatments include anti-inflammatory medications, rest and activity modification, physical therapy, and stretching and strengthening activities.  Occasionally, in more severe cases, such as a car accident motor vehicle case, more treatment may be required.

Vertebral Compression Fractures

A vertebral compression fracture occurs when the bones of the spine become broken due to trauma. This frequently occurs in catastrophic motor vehicle accidents because the force required to break the bones of the spine is substantial and would take several months to heal.

Because of the fracture, the nerves in the spine rub against each other and can cause severe discomfort, pain and even disability.  Some treatment options to pursue are vertebroplasty,  which includes injecting a cement-like substance to strengthen the spine, or kyphoplasty, which is a similar procedure that restores vertebral height.  Both treatments are designed to eliminate movement and stabilize the spine.

Disc Problems

In between the vertebra or bones of the spinal column are discs of cartilage and fiber that contains a elastic fiber and acts as a cushion between each vertebra.  As we age, these discs begin to wear out, and can cause problems such as slipped discs, herniated discs or pinched nerves.

According to Dr. Kevin Walsh, MD, an orthopedist at Bryn Mawr Hospital, treatment for most disc problems can begin with temporarily resting the back, however, too much rest can make the back stiff  .  Other types of treatment include spinal fusion or surgical treatments to relieve the pressure on the nerves and provide stability to the vertebrae.

As always, it is important to consult your physician first to see what the best treatment option for you is, as more extreme measures may need to be taken in any personal injury or motor vehicle accident case.