Your spine is one of your most treasured body parts. It allows communication from your brain to your muscles and then from your muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints and skin back to your nervous system so you can alter your body position. It’s your spine, along with your skeleton and muscles, that allow you to walk, run, crawl, sit, stand and lie down.
There may be times in life when your spine is injured. You may have slipped and fallen, hit your head hard, suffered from injuries in a car accident, or bent over and twisted; all of these are common situations that cause a spinal injury.
Spinal injuries can worsen with time and become debilitating if not properly treated. Here are two common spinal injuries that need immediate attention:
Whiplash is an injury to your cervical spine that occurs commonly in car accidents. When your car is hit from behind, the forces of the car that hit you are transmitted to your car and everyone inside. Your head is thrust backwards and forwards, altering the shape of your cervical spine from the normal C-shape to an S-shape. The muscles and ligaments in the lower part of your neck become damaged, along with discs and vertebrae.
Symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, vision changes, pain radiating down the neck and sometimes into the arm and hand, fatigue, and inability to think clearly are quite common, along with depression and other psychological symptoms.
Recovery time depends on the type of care that you receive. If you cover up the pain with painkillers but do not address the soft tissue injuries to the muscles, joints and ligaments, your recovery time could take years.
Many medical studies show that people still may have symptoms years later; however, if treatment includes chiropractic manipulation to restore the motion and the normal C-shape of the cervical spine, your recovery may only take several weeks. The good news for those who have already suffered whiplash injuries long ago is that chiropractic intervention – even at a later date – will still make a difference and speed your recovery time.
2. Spinal Stenosis
Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal that contains the spinal cord. Vertebrae surround the spinal cord and holes called foramens allow nerves to emerge from the spinal cord to innervate the rest of your body. In the case of arthritis, extra bone forms on top the vertebrae, compressing nerves. If the bone continues to enlarge, the spinal cord may be involved.
Symptoms depend on what level of the spine is affected. Spinal stenosis usually occurs in the cervical (upper) or lumbar (lower) spine. Stenosis in the upper spine may affect the head, vision, hearing, sense of smell, neck, shoulder, arm, hand and fingers while symptoms for lumbar stenosis may affect walking, the hip, low back, legs, urination and bowel movements.
Stenosis may become disabling when the symptoms involve excruciating pain, pain that radiates, numbness so you don’t feel your legs, severe tingling sensations, and severe muscle weakness. Symptoms may become so disabling that you are unable to drive a car, go grocery shopping, get up out of bed, walk, and turn your body. It may leave you homebound and in need of home care.
Recovery time depends on how extensive the compression (and stenosis) is, the type of treatment you get, when you get it, and whether or not it involves surgery. The recovery time for surgery for stenosis may be one year or longer. However, non-surgical spinal decompression along with chiropractic care (and medical care, too) may result in a lessening of the compression on the nerve, with pain relief and symptom relief in a matter of a few weeks.
Why You Want to Treat These Two Spinal Injuries Right Away
Two spinal injuries that may become debilitating if not properly treated are whiplash and spinal stenosis.
Whiplash is an injury to your cervical spine that occurs commonly in car accidents. The force of the impact of a car hitting yours may easily damage both the soft tissue in your neck and spine (muscles, ligaments, joints, nerves, spinal cord) as well as the bony skeleton.
Whiplash commonly causes symptoms such as:
• vision changes
• pain radiating down the neck and sometimes into the arm and hand
• inability to think clearly are quite common
• other psychological symptoms
Recovery time depends on the type of care that you receive. By addressing the inflammation, the motion in the spine (with chiropractic), the proper nutrition for the body to heal, along with medical care, you utilize the best of both worlds – medical and alternative and may shorten your recovery time from years to weeks.
Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal that contains the spinal cord that may result from injury or arthritis causing extra bone to form on the vertebrae. The extra bone limits movement and compresses either on the nerves or the spinal cord.
Symptoms may not occur until nerve compression occurs and then depend on what level of the spine is affected. Stenosis in the upper spine may affect the head, vision, hearing, sense of smell, neck, shoulder, arm, hand and fingers while symptoms for lumbar stenosis may affect walking, the hip, low back, legs, urination and bowel movements.
Excruciating pain, pain that radiates, numbness so you don’t feel your limbs, severe tingling sensations, and severe muscle weakness are what makes this spinal injury debilitating. They may progress so you are unable to drive a car, go grocery shopping, get up out of bed, walk, and turn your body. Stenosis may make you homebound and in need of home care.
Recovery time depends on a few factors:
• how extensive the compression (and stenosis) is
• the type of treatment you receive and when you get treatment
• whether or not it surgery is needed
Surgical procedures require a recovery time of one year or longer. However, non-surgical spinal decompression along with chiropractic care (with medical care) may result in relief of the nerve compression, with pain relief and symptom relief in a matter of a few weeks.
When to Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits
If your back injury has prevented you from working for longer than 12 months, it may be time for you to apply for Social Security Disability Benefits. There is no shame in asking for help, especially when it is for something that you cannot control. The debilitating pain back injuries cause is very real and you should never feel as though you are asking too much if you require some assistance. How to Get Started Getting disability benefits for back injuries is’nt always easy, but applying is. Visit the complete guide to disability benefits here or talk to your doctor right away. You could be just a few months away from getting the help you truly need.