5 Common Back Injuries Attributed to Car Accidents

man with a back injury from car accident

Unfortunately, many car accidents result in physical injuries, even when the impact was minor. This is due to the fact that our bodies were not made to sustain the impact of a car collision, even at low speed. As a result, many individuals end up suffering a back injury. These injuries can range from minor to life-threatening, so it’s extremely important that we are aware of the signs and symptoms in order to know when it is imperative to seek medical treatment. Here are 5 common back injuries that occur due to car accidents. 

1. Whiplash

While generally not life-threatening, whiplash is one of – if not the most – common back injuries that occur as a result of a car accident. Whiplash, which generally occurs when there is a rear-end collision, can cause damage to your muscles, tissues, and ligaments in the neck. This occurs when the head and neck are jerked forward but stop abruptly because the body stays in place. 

Sometimes it is evident immediately that you have suffered from whiplash, but sometimes it can take hours or even days before the symptoms, such as pain, stiffness, fatigue, dizziness, and blurred vision are noticeable. These injuries tend to be treated with physical therapy.

2. Spinal Fractures

Wearing your seat belt properly is extremely important. When your seat belt does not hold your body in place the way that it should, an accident can cause the lower half of your body to remain still while your head and torso are jolted. This can result in a spinal fracture. 

A common type of spinal fracture is a compression fracture. This type of fracture occurs when a small crack occurs around the vertebrae. There are many serious symptoms of such an injury including muscle weakness, numbness, bladder issues, and pain, which can increase when you sit, walk, or even breathe. 

The treatment for a spinal fracture is dependent upon its severity. While some of these fractures are able to heal with just rest and immobility, more serious cases often require surgery.

3. Herniated Discs

Each of us has discs in our back that are responsible for cushioning and protecting our vertebrae. But sometimes when involved in an accident, these discs can shift, compressing on your nerves. This herniated (or slipped or bulging) disc can result in pain or numbness. 

Herniated discs usually only require physical therapy and pain relievers unless a disc is extremely herniated and affecting other important structures in your body. Then treatment may include surgery.

If you experience pain or numbness on one side of your body, weakness in your muscles, or pain in your arms and/or legs, it could be a sign that you’ve suffered a herniated disc. If the pain is worse at night, after you sit or stand, when you walk short distances or make specific movements, this can also be a sign of such an injury.

4. Spinal Stenosis

While not usually the direct cause of spinal stenosis, car accidents can often trigger symptoms of a pre-existing case, causing them to accelerate. Similar to a herniated disc injury, symptoms often include numbness, tingling, pain, and weakness in your arm, leg, foot, and/or hand. Other symptoms may include neck pain, balance issues, problems walking, or in severe cases, bladder or bowel dysfunction. 

5. Spinal Cord Injuries

While you may associate spinal cord injuries with a more severe accident, if your body is stuck at a certain position, it can result in spinal cord damage – regardless of the speed of a car accident. The impact of the accident can result in the bruising, cutting, or even severing of your spinal cord, resulting in permanent paralysis. 

However, paralysis isn’t the only symptom indicative of a spinal cord injury. Severe pain in your back or pressure in your back, neck or head, as well as numbness, tingling, loss of sensation in your extremities, and loss of bladder or bowel control can be signs of such an injury.

MPJ Law Firm Can Help Those in NM Who Have Been Injured in a Motorcycle Accident

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, it can greatly impact your life. It can be difficult enough dealing with extensive injuries, but it can be even harder when you are left to pick up the pieces financially. You should never have to pay the price for someone else’s mistakes. 

At MPJ Law Firm, we have a deep understanding of car accidents and understand the effects that such accidents often have on just about all aspects of your life. We will always act in your best interest. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!

Posted in: Personal Injury