Although there have been tremendous safety improvements in automobiles and on the roads over the years, there are still accidents, and people still get injured.
Due to the thrashing motion that occurs in most accidents, back injuries are a widespread occurrence in car accidents.
Back injuries can be very mild to very serious, requiring you to potentially undergo expensive and extensive medical treatment to get back into good health.
And sometimes the pain never really goes away, and you are forced to deal with the pain, and the expenses, for the rest of your life.
The severity of your injury depends on the type of injury.
Your back is made up of a lot of muscles, ligament, tendons, and discs in your back that can all suffer damage, not to mention the spinal column that protects the nerves in the spinal cord that runs through it.
There are several types of back injuries you can sustain during a car accident, and in the article below, we will talk about some of the most common.
Whiplash is one of the most common car accident injuries, if not the most common.
Whiplash can cause damage to muscles, ligaments, and the tissues in and around the neck.
And while it may not technically be a back injury, your neck, and back work together as one unit.
Whiplash occurs most often in rear-end accidents because the head and neck are propelled forward while the body stays still, causing the head and neck to come to a sudden stop.
Symptoms aren't always obvious, either.
It can take seven hours, days, or even weeks to notice the symptoms.
The symptoms of whiplash include pain, stiffness, dizziness, fatigue, or blurred vision.
Whiplash injuries vary from mild to severe and often require physical therapy to heal.
Spinal fractures usually occur when your set belt fails to hold your body in place.
The lower half of the body remains still, but the torso and head are jostled around, resulting in spinal fractures.
One type of spinal fracture is a compression fracture, which is a small crack or fissure along the vertebrae.
Pain or other symptoms are common in the area where the compression fracture occurs.
Pain can increase when you breathe, sit, or walk.
Bladder issues, numbness, and muscle weakness can also occur with a compression fracture.
The way spinal fractures are treated will depend on the severity of the injury.
Some can heal with rest, while the more extreme injuries will require surgery.
The discs that cushion the vertebrae in the spine can be subjected to a great deal of force in an accident.
That force can cause the discs to shift, compressing nerves and causing pain and numbness.
This is known as a herniated disc.
These injuries can also be called bulging, ruptured, or slipped discs.
Typically, these injuries can be treated with conservative, non-invasive methods.
Doctors often focus on pain relief and physical therapy.
In extreme cases, surgery can be used to treat the injury depending on its severity, and if it is impacting other vital structures in the body.
When a stress fracture forces vertebrae to move out of place, spondylolisthesis occurs.
This condition compresses the nerves of the spinal canal. Numbness, pain, weakness, and difficulty walking may result.
Treatment for spondylolisthesis will depend on the location of the displaced vertebrae and the extent it's displaced.
Physical therapy is a common treatment option, as well as surgery in extreme cases.
While spinal stenosis is not typically caused by a car accident directly, a car accident can cause a person with asymptomatic spinal stenosis to begin feeling symptoms.
If your spinal canal is narrowing due to age and you're experiencing vertebral height degeneration, trauma may cause you to feel symptoms many years before you would naturally.
A spinal specialist can determine if a car accident caused the symptoms of spinal stenosis to accelerate and provide you with appropriate treatment options.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Even the most minor car accidents can cause damage to your spinal cord.
Your spinal cord can be bruised, cut, or severed as a result of the force of a minor impact.
If your spinal cord is lacerated or severed, it could cause permanent paralysis.
Your Legal Rights
If you sustained any of the injuries listed above due to the negligence of another driver in a car accident, you might have grounds to pursue financial relief from the negligent driver.
Dealing with the intricacies of a lawsuit while also battling the consequences of back injuries can be very overwhelming.
Dealing with the judicial system when you don't have an injury is hard enough on its own.
That's why it's important to hire an experienced personal injury attorney that can take you by the hand and guide you through the process.
Your attorney will provide you with the necessary support and guidance as you pursue the recovery of financial and emotional damages.