Back Pain from a Slip-and-Fall Accident

A sudden slip-and-fall could instantly begin to cause you severe back pain. Such an accident can prevent you from performing your daily responsibilities such as working, driving, or caring for your family.

There are two categories of slip-and-falls, depending on what triggered the slip and the direction in which the individual fell. A slip-and-fall results from a slippery surface and the victim generally falls backward. When someone trips on uneven pavement or an item in the path, they usually fall forward. The type of fall you experience affects the way you hurt your back. If you have suffered either type of fall, and are suffering from back pain as a result, contact a Tampa Bay spine surgeon immediately for an examination and diagnosis.

Slip-and-Fall Accidents

It is not uncommon for a person injured in a slip-and-fall accident to not realize they were hurt until a day or more after the incident. Pain may arise from the fall itself, or the impact may have aggravated a pre-existing condition. Back pain that results from a slip-and-fall accident could possibly be very serious, and should not be ignored. Some common slip-and-fall or trip and fall injuries include:

Cervical spine injuries – These injuries involve the neck. A bone may dislocate, potentially damaging the spinal cord. This unstable situation generally requires surgical correction.

Fracture – A broken bone in the spine causes intense pain. In backward falls, the tailbone is often involved. Fractures range in severity, from simple fractures to those where the bone has burst.

Herniated disc – Discs herniate when their soft centers, the nucleus pulpous, push through their harder shells, irritating neighboring nerves. Pain occurs in the affected area, which in falls may include the neck, upper or lower back, legs or buttocks. When the herniation compresses the nerves, tingling, weakness and numbness result. Herniated discs are also known as slipped discs.

Soft tissue injuries – Falls often cause strained muscles and/or tendons or sprained ligaments. Besides pain, symptoms include swelling and loss of flexibility. The most serious type of sprain after a fall involves the neck. These injuries benefit from non-surgical treatments, including physical therapy.

Whiplash – Although whiplash occurs primarily in motor vehicle accidents, a bad fall can cause the same strong rocking back and forth of the head. Unlike whiplash from a car accident, whiplash from a fall usually results in pain in the lower back or legs.

For minor back injuries, bed rest and anti-inflammatory medication will likely take care of the problem. For more serious injuries, treatment runs from physiotherapy to surgery. Some back pain from slip-and-fall accidents heals easily, while others may leave a patient permanently disabled.

Benefits of a Surgeon

An accurate diagnosis is the first step toward treatment and healing. Patients will give surgeons a detailed account of what happened during the accident, which will aid them initially regarding the pain source. Risk factors, such as osteoporosis, are discussed. A surgeon will then perform diagnostic imaging to definitively identify the source of patient injuries and grade the injury level.

After diagnosis, they will devise a treatment and therapy plan, as well as offer pain management. If the accident results in litigation, they provide full documentation for legal and insurance purposes. If you or a loved one suffers back pain because of a slip-and-fall injury, contact an experienced Tampa Bay spine surgeon for an examination and a full explanation of treatment options.