Your health is always a top priority; any problems with your physical health has a lasting impact on all parts of your life. While there’s always a significant risk directly connected with leaving an injury untreated for any period of time, spinal injuries can be particularly insidious. As a result of the potential long-term damage that spinal injuries can leave, any spinal injuries you are aware of should always be immediately examined and treated by a qualified medical professional. In this article we will discuss some of the most common types of spine injuries and the impact that they can have on your health and quality of life. Read on to learn more about some of the consequences of letting these types of spine injuries go untreated.
Common Types Of Spine Injuries And Risks Of Being Left Untreated
Here are some common types of spinal injuries and what could happen if they are left untreated.
Untreated Osteoarthritis Of The Spine
The majority of people will have some degree of Spinal Osteoarthritis (OA), especially as they get older. Mild spinal OA doesn’t always require treatment. However, in certain cases where OA results in extremely unpleasant symptoms involving the legs, neck, back, or arms, it is always best to consult with a physician. Moderate to severe Osteoarthritis of the spine left untreated can cause spinal issues like:
- Radiculopathy- severe nerve pain in the arms, hips, neck, back, thighs, and/or legs
- Spinal stenosis- the narrowing of the spinal canal from ligament growth, disc bulges, facet joint growth, and other abnormalities due to OA
The early treatment of arthritis is the best way that patients are able to lower their chance of needing surgery.
Untreated Vertebral Fractures
Any fractures from the vertebrae typically happen after a significant injury or trauma, and need to be taken with utmost seriousness. If you don’t see a physician, come up with a treatment plan, and embark on a treatment plan with your physician, it can lead to:
- Nerve damage
- Vertebral deformity
- Extreme pain
- Soft tissue damage
Like all of the bones in your body, the bones in your vertebrae are supposed to be perfectly aligned. If one bone is fractured and does not heal appropriately, there may be a deformity that happens. This deformity can impact how the spine is shaped and result in a plethora of problems, including severe pain. In certain circumstances, a vertebral fracture left untreated for a long period can lead to a deformity that can only be corrected via surgery.
Untreated Herniated Discs
A herniated disc can cause unpleasant symptoms as the result of the disc pinching spinal nerves or the spinal cord. If a herniated disc is left untreated by a patient, it can result in severe pain and nerve damage. Common symptoms of untreated herniated discs include:
- Nerve pain in the arms/legs
- Back/Neck pain
- Muscle fatigue
These symptoms can happen in the neck, back, or any of the extremities. Sciatica is commonly caused by a slipped or herniated disc that causes pressure on the root of a nerve. Sciatica causes pain running from the lower back down the leg along the sciatic nerve. If a herniated disc causes severe enough symptoms that are unable to be safely or adequately treated nonsurgically, surgical intervention may be necessary.
Contact Us Today
Thanks to advancements in imaging technology, physicians are now able to pinpoint spine injuries and diagnose spinal problems with amazing accuracy. Since there are many minimally-invasive surgical options available, spinal injuries can often be treated with a minimal amount of downtime. If you or somebody close to you experiences a spinal injury, call the Spine and Scoliosis Center to see a spinal expert with extensive experience to start treating these injuries right away.