Back pain is a common experience following a car accident or fall. Pain may manifest while walking, standing up, and sitting down or while you are completing typically mundane tasks like driving or brushing your teeth. In some cases, you may even find that your back pain hinders your movement or prevents you from working.
You may be left asking, how do I know if my back pain is serious? Could it be a symptom of something more concerning? Do I need to see a doctor? How long will my pain last?
If your back pain is the result of a crash or on-the-job injury, you may even be wondering if you need to contact a back injury attorney.
Here are a few things to consider when trying to determine if your back pain is serious.
Is the Pain Short-Term or Chronic?
Back pain typically falls into one of two categories, regardless of its underlying cause: acute back pain and chronic back pain. When diagnosing your back pain, this is one of the first items your doctor will address.
Acute Back Pain
Acute back pain is short-term and appears suddenly. Common causes of acute back pain include stress, strains, awkward movement, and muscles and/or soft tissue injuries.
The majority of back pain is considered acute, meaning it lasts no longer than six weeks. However, this does not mean that the pain cannot be the symptom of something more serious.
Typically, it is advised that you see a doctor about your back pain if it persists for more than two weeks. You should also see a doctor if you suspect your back pain is the result of a car accident or some kind of impact or fall injury.
Chronic Back Pain
Chronic back pain is back pain that lasts more than six weeks and is often a symptom of a more serious underlying injury or condition. Remember, chronic back pain is not always constant or continuous. In fact, the back pain may resolve after a few weeks then come back later. This is called recurrent back pain.
If you experience chronic pain to the point that it impacts your health, mobility, or quality of life, you should see a doctor immediately. The injuries or conditions that cause chronic back pain can worsen over time without treatment, resulting in even more pain and debilitation.
What Kinds of Injuries Cause Back Pain?
There are a number of injuries that can result in both acute and chronic back pain. Whether the pain is long-term or short-term can also depend on the severity of the injury. In personal injury cases, some of the most common back injuries we see are:
- Herniated disks
- Pinched nerves
- Fractured vertebrae
- Compression fractures
- Muscle strains
- Muscle damage
- Soft tissue damage
Should I Go to the ER for Back Pain?
Whether or not you should go to the emergency room for a back injury or pain is dependent on how you feel and your level of concern. Every back injury is different in type and severity, and only you can truly feel how much of an impact your pain is having on you.
With that, some indicators that an emergency room visit is necessary include:
- A sudden spike in pain
- Increased weakness or numbness in your back, arms, or legs
- Loss of bladder function
- High fever
- Severe stomach pain
- Severe nausea or dizziness
- The pain was the result of a fall or a blow/impact to your back
How do I Know if My Back Pain is Serious Enough to Sue?
If your back injury or back pain is the result of a car accident, truck accident, workplace accident, or any other kind of negligence, it is in your best interests to speak with an attorney about your legal options.
Back injuries and back pains can require extensive treatment and expensive medical bills. Further, if your pain prevented you from working or if you took vacation days off to recover, you may be entitled to lost wages.
An experienced attorney can help you identify the damages associated with your back injury and assist you in making a full financial recovery.
Damages that could apply to your back injury case include:
- Past medical bills
- Future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
Suffered a Back Injury? Call Thomas J. Henry Law
If you or a loved one have suffered from a severe spinal cord injury or back injury, contact Thomas J. Henry Law immediately. Our experienced personal injury attorneys are backed by the legal and financial resources necessary to recover the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries.
Our lawyers are available 24/7, nights and weekends to evaluate your claim. Contact us today for a free case review. Our firm has offices in Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas serving clients across Texas and nationwide.