Back Pain After Car Accident
Back Pain After Car Accident in Arizona
Neck pain and back pain after a car accident should be taken very seriously. Because symptoms of neck, back, and spinal cord injury can take several days or weeks after a traffic accident to manifest, some accident victims do not seek immediate medical attention. Unfortunately, by the time injury symptoms become chronic, severe damage and complications may have already developed.
Victims of car accidents are encouraged to treat pain after a car crash as a sign that they need to see a doctor to rule out a serious or possibly debilitating back and neck injury. A doctor can perform several diagnostic tests, such as a CT scan or MRI, to detect an accident injury. Once an injury is diagnosed, a comprehensive treatment plan can help heal the damage and prevent further harm that can lead to impairments or lifelong chronic pain.
Common Back and Neck Injuries from Car Accidents
Neck pain and lower back pain can be an indication of common injuries that occur in car accidents. A back or neck injury can occur in minor and low-impact crashes as well as moderate to high-speed collisions. Some of the most common injuries to the back and neck from motor vehicle accidents include:
- Whiplash – When the neck is “whipped” forward and backward in a violent, sudden motion, the muscles, ligaments, and soft tissues in the neck can tear and stretch beyond their capacity. In a car accident, the impact of the vehicles colliding can cause the neck to jerk violently resulting in a whiplash injury. Neck pain after a car accident is common, especially when a vehicle is rear ended by another vehicle. However, ignoring the pain and assuming it will ease in a few days can make matters worse.
- Disc Injuries – The discs in the spinal column are fragile and can easily be injured in a motor vehicle accident. A common injury to the spinal discs occurs when a disc herniates because of the impact of the crash. Herniated discs, also called slipped or ruptured discs, are unable to cushion the vertebrae resulting in serious pain and disability.
- Spinal Cord Injuries – There are several ways that the spinal cord can be injured in a traffic accident. The spinal cord can be bruised, which causes short-term pain and discomfort. However, the cord can also be lacerated or severed. When the cord is lacerated or severed, the damage may be permanent and usually results in partial or complete paralysis.
- Compression Fractures – Compression fractures are cracks or fissures in the vertebrae of the spine. Lower back pain after car accidents can indicate a compression fracture in the lower part of the spine, which can cause pain when sitting or walking. Pain when breathing may indicate a compression fracture higher on the spine.
The above injuries are not the only neck and back injuries that people suffer in auto accidents. In addition to the impact of the crash, the systems intended to protect people in traffic accidents can cause injury. Seatbelts and airbags can shift the force applied to the neck and spine resulting in severe injuries.
Symptoms of Neck and Back Injury from Car Accidents
Whenever a person is involved in an automobile accident, it is important for that person to watch for signs and symptoms of injuries.
Symptoms of whiplash include:
- Stiffness or neck pain
- Pain in the neck and shoulders that increases when the head is turned to look over the shoulder
- Numbness or pain in the hands or arms
- Low back pain
- Decreased mobility in the neck and shoulders
- Problems with memory or concentration
Symptoms of back injuries include:
- Pain that can radiate down a person’s legs
- Muscle aches
- Stabbing or shooting pain
- Limited range of motion or flexibility
Symptoms of spinal cord injuries include:
- Extreme back pain
- Loss of movement
- Tingling, numbness, or loss of sensation in hands, feet, fingers, or toes
- Loss of sensation
- Difficulty breathing
- Weakness or lack of coordination
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Pain or stinging sensation
- Difficulty walking or maintaining balance
The treatments for back and neck injuries can range from pain medication, epidural injections, and muscle relaxants. The treatments can also range all the way to surgery, physical therapy, and chiropractic care. Depending on the severity of the injury, a car accident accident victim could be out of work for an extended period undergoing treatment and therapy.
Medical bills, lost wages, and other financial damages could be significant. In the event of paralysis or other permanent impairment, an accident victim may never return to work and require lifelong medical care and personal care. A car accident lawyer may be able to assist with the filing of a claim to recover full compensation for all damages.
Amar Esq. PLLC is an accident injury law office located in Scottsdale, AZ.