Personal injuries can result from trauma to a body part or from gradual wear-and-tear. These injuries may cover one of various body parts, and therefore can be debilitating in some cases. One of the most common injuries however are those involving the back, as this injury may result from a car accident, heavy lifting at work, or from general use.
Types of Personal Injuries
When personal injuries are categorized, injuries are segmented by body part. The following listing gives a basic overview of the types of personal injuries that are treated by chiropractors and physical therapists.
- Back Injuries – Back injuries may include pain to the lower back (such as a backache) or may involve a sprain or strain. Strains and sprains can be dull in nature or range to a sharp and acute pain. Herniated discs may also result from injuries to the back. The discs rupture if vertebrae are compressed. Osteoporosis, which is an abnormal loss of bone, leads to the development of backaches and fractures, or back injuries.
- Foot and Ankle Injuries – Foot and ankle injuries are numerous, as we use our feet an ankles regularly. Some of the conditions include the following:
- Achilles tendonitis. This condition erupts when stress is placed repeatedly on the tendon, causing it to become inflamed.
- Achilles tendon rupture. This tendon links the hell and calf muscles. A rupture takes place when the tendon is placed under severe pressure.
- Ankle sprains. Sprain result from a twisting movement of the ankle, leading to tears in the ankle’s ligaments.
- Arch pain. Pain is felt in the mid part of the foot.
- Blisters. Blisters result when the back of the heel, for instance, rubs against another surface, such as a shoe while walking.
- Plantar fasciitis. This condition is an inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is a thick and fibrous tissue, located in the form of a band on the back of the foot.
- Heel spurs. Heel spurs represent calcium deposits on the back of the heel. They develop when continued tension is placed on the plantar fascia.
- Stress fracture. This fracture occurs when too much stress is placed on the foot. When this happens, small fracture develops among the metatarsal bones or in the bone of the big toe.
- Turf toe. Turf toe represents ligament damage to the big toe. This injury happens from excessive stress.
The above list of injuries often results from impact injuries during sports or running, or from degeneration. Patients who wear incorrect footwear may experience injuries, such as turf toe, arch pain, or blisters. Overuse figures prominently in injuries, such as ankle sprains, Achilles tendonitis, Achilles tendon rupture, arch pain, plantar fasciitis, or a stress fracture of the foot.
The head features a total of 22 bones, or 14 facial bones and 8 cranial bones. Because these bones work in concert to protect tendons, ligaments, nerves, and tissues, any injury to this area of the body can be extremely serious. Following is an example of the kinds of head injuries:
- Broken nose
- An exercise-associated headache
- Dislocated or fractured jaw
- Head or neck trauma
- Nosebleed injuries
- Nasal injury
If the skull is fractured, a patient may suffer from permanent paralysis or a loss of some of his or her faculties. Because fractures to the head can affect the brain, patients may lose their ability to walk, speak, or use their arms or legs. Any personal injuries of this nature can impact a person’s lifestyle and often lead to psychological conditions, such as traumatic stress disorder or a similar psychological condition.
The knee joint is made up of four bones – the tibia, the fibula, the femur (thigh bone), and the patella, otherwise referred to as the kneecap. The connection of these four bones is covered with articular cartilage, which prevents friction during movement.
Besides the articular cartilage, the knee features two meniscuses that rest between the femur and lower bones of the legs. Therefore, knee injuries may involve tears or injuries to the articular cartilage, the anterior, anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments, or cartilage under the kneecap. Following is a listing of common knee injuries.
- Anterior and posterior cruciate ligament tears. These ligaments provide stability to the knee when it is extended or flexed.
- Chondromalacia. This condition involves damage to the cartilage that is situated under the kneecap. If chondromalacia is not treated, severe degeneration can result.
- Dislocation of the kneecap. This condition results from a forceful twisting type motion or a blunt traumatic impact.
- Iliotibial band syndrome. This condition occurs when the iliotibial band becomes inflamed, causing pain in the knee area.
- Knee pain. Pain is often related to tearing, degeneration, or inflammation of the ligaments, cartilage, or muscles of the knee.
- Medial and lateral collateral ligament tears. This condition results when the ligament buckles after the lower leg moves sideways.
- Meniscus injuries. Both pain and inflammation occur on the outside or inside of the knee.
- Osteoarthritis. This form of arthritis involves to degeneration of the cartilage within the joint of the knee. The joint is located between the bones of the tibia and femur.
- Patellar tendonitis and ruptured tendons. This condition is also referred to as jumper’s knee. It involves damage to the tendon between the tibia bone and patella.
Neck and Shoulder Injuries
These injuries often result from injuries sustained from sporting activities or car accidents. Types of injuries are listed below:
- Cervical fracture or broken neck – often occurring from a blunt force trauma.
- Clavicle fracture – the most common fracture.
- Dislocated shoulder – caused when the ball of the humerus pops out of the socket.
- Frozen shoulder – occurring when the shoulder joint capsules become inflamed or irritated.
- Neck sprain – resulting from tearing or overstretching the muscles in the neck or the ligaments attached to the cervical section of the vertebrae.
- Neck strain – associated with tearing or overstretching the neck ligaments or muscles.
- Scapular or shoulder blade fracture – occurring from a heavy and blunt force impact.
- Whiplash – involving the ligament, muscle, and tendon tissue of the neck.
- Torn rotator cuff – a painful injury in the area of the shoulder joint.
Symptoms of Personal Injuries
The symptoms experienced from a personal injury depend on the area that is affected. Following is a list of symptoms for the general body areas.
1. Back Injuries
- Problems with straightening the back due to severe pain
- Continued soreness in the lower lumbar region
- Pain that shoots down the back of the leg (the sciatic nerve), which is quite severe.
- Pain that occurs after any sudden movement.
- Pain, numbness, or tingling sensations after sitting or standing for a long duration.
2. Foot and Ankle Symptoms
- Extreme soreness on the back of the foot
- Problems with balancing
- Pain in the heel, especially upon awakening
- Pain that radiates over the foot and around the ankle
3. Brain Injury Symptoms
Brain injury symptoms include the following:
- Inconsolable crying (if a child is affected)
- Loss or temporary change in consciousness
- A headache
- Severe vomiting or nausea
- Ringing in the ear
- Scalp swelling
- Interrupted breathing
- Inability to move
4. Knee Injury Symptoms
- Problems with the knee locking up
- Issues with walking without a cane or similar aid
- Soreness around the kneecap (patella)
- Pain, swelling, and redness around the patella
5. Neck and Shoulder Injury Symptoms
- Soreness and stiffness around the shoulder and the neck
- Problems with rotating the shoulder
- Aches and pains – from dull to severe in the neck area
- Pain radiating from the shoulder or shoulder blade
Treatments for Personal Injuries
Treatments for personal injuries depend on the affected area and the severity of the injury. General treatments include the following:
- The administration of pain medications – both over-the-counter or by prescription.
- Topical administration of analgesics or anti-bacterial products.
- Physical therapy to rehabilitate muscle and ligament tears or heal broken bones.
- Chiropractic care for treating lower back pain, neck or shoulder conditions, or hip pain.
- The application of heat and cold to treat muscle strains and sprains.
- Injections of corticosteroids to provide pain relief for a short period.
- The use of braces to correct problems with the knee.
Most treatments for personal injuries are designed to provide pain relief and encourage gradual healing.