Many people suffer from some degree of neck or back pain, but determining the cause of the pain can at times be difficult. There are many factors to consider, from poor posture to a serious injury to the spine. Here are some common spine injuries to consider if you have severe pain in the neck or back.
You may have seen someone wearing a cervical collar after a car accident. These are usually worn to treat whiplash, which is a common motor vehicle injury. Whiplash occurs when the neck is forced to move in an unusual way, usually backward and then forward. Whiplash can cause neck pain and stiffness. If untreated, whiplash can cause more serious damage to the cervical spine.
There are spongy discs between the vertebrae of the spine that act as cushions, giving the spine flexibility. When one of these discs becomes damaged, it can rupture and move out of place. A herniated disc can put pressure on the spinal cord, causing back pain and weakness. Herniated discs are caused by physical trauma or wear and tear. Because these discs become less flexible as you age, the likelihood of herniation increases.
Just like with a herniated disc, a spine fracture may cause damage to the spinal cord. When a vertebra fractures, fragments can pinch the nerves, sometimes resulting in paralysis. The most common causes of a fracture are car accidents, sports injuries, and falls.
Often a result of fractures, a vertebra can slip out of place onto the vertebra below it. This is called spondylolisthesis. Sometimes, a slipped vertebra pinches a nerve, causing pain. This occurs most commonly in the lumbar, or lower, vertebrae. Spondylolisthesis can be caused by a birth defect, age, injury, or a combination of the three. If you’re looking for a spine specialist in the Las Vegas area, Dr. Perry’s Spine Institute of Nevada offers the most advanced techniques for treating injuries to the spine. Call 702-239-3787 to schedule an evaluation and find the best treatment options for you.