5 Types of Back Injuries in Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents are more common than you may think. In fact, according to statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over one million Americans suffer injuries from slip and fall accidents each year. Many of these accidents are minor, but some accidents result in debilitating injuries and fatalities. Back injuries can be anywhere on the spectrum.
1–2. Back Strains and Back Sprains
Back strains and back sprains are injuries that are often confused. The initial symptoms of both types of injuries are often very similar. Those suffering from a strain or sprain are likely to experience back spasms and limited mobility, in addition to back pain. The root causes of the symptoms are different, however:
● A strain occurs when a muscle is torn or injured
● A sprain occurs when the ligaments are stretched beyond their normal limits
Back ligaments are relatively strong, so a strain is more likely when only minor trauma has occurred. A back sprain is generally considered more serious than a strain and is more likely to occur when there has been significant trauma.
Spondylolisthesis is a medical condition involving the vertebrae, when one vertebra slides over the vertebra below it in the spinal column, creating a misalignment. It typically occurs in the lower back. A slip and fall accident can easily cause vertebrae to become misaligned.
This injury is more commonly referred to as a “pinched nerve.” Radiculopathy occurs when the muscles, tendons, bones, or cartilage surrounding the spine have been damaged. Trauma to any of these tissues can cause the root nerve in the spinal cord to compress and become inflamed. This type of back injury can be very painful.
5. Vertebral Fracture
As the name implies, a vertebral fracture is a break in the bones that comprise the spinal column. Although more often occurring in the lower and middle portions of the spine, a fracture can occur anywhere and may be categorized as mild or severe.
If you have experienced a fall, you must be aware of the possibility of injury that does not immediately manifest itself; symptoms from latent injuries may take days, weeks or perhaps months to develop. This is particularly true when it comes to your back. Often some pain and stiffness will be immediately perceptible, but the more serious problems are masked and will not heal without specific treatment.
If you have been injured by someone else’s negligence, you may have a valid personal injury claim. If your slip and fall accident was due to an unsafe condition created by the owner or controller of some real property or the failure to correct or warn of the problem, you may be able to recover damages under a premises liability theory. Speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer to determine if you have a cause of action.