Neck and Back Injuries After a Car Accident: Causes and Treatment Options
A man got in a car accident and has neck pain.

Neck and Back Injuries After a Car Accident: Causes and Treatment Options

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Car accidents do not always result in visible trauma; however, it is always important to be aware of possible internal injuries. Neck and back injuries are some of the most common lingering car accident effects. Pain from neck and back injuries can restrict your activities and cause daily discomfort, even preventing you from working or doing the things you love. It is important to get medical care within the first few days to catch hidden problems early, and to protect your rights to take legal action. Continue reading this blog to learn more about neck and back injuries and their symptoms.

Symptoms
If you’ve been in a car accident, you will want to be aware of any symptoms that flare up immediately after. That way, you can quickly seek medical attention and receive treatment for your injuries.

Here are some symptoms to look out for directly after a car accident:

  • Extreme pain in your neck or back
  • Tingling, numbness, or a burning sensation in any part of your body
  • Inability to move your fingers or toes
  • Chronic headaches
  • Lack of balance
  • Inability to walk
  • Inability to control bowels or bladder
  • Difficulty breathing

Symptoms are not always immediate. Sometimes they appear days, weeks, or even months following a car accident.

Listed below are some delayed symptoms.

  • Prolonged headaches
  • Stomach pain or tenderness
  • Extreme weakness
  • Pinching, tingling, or numbing sensation in the neck, back, or limbs
  • Decreased vision or hearing
  • Stress and anxiety

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should consult a doctor who can diagnose and provide you with treatment. You should immediately visit urgent care or an emergency room. You should handle neck and back injuries immediately. It is imperative to take each symptom seriously, no matter how minor.

Types of Neck and Back Injuries

There are various neck and back injuries you can sustain when involved in a car accident. The majority of these injuries result from whiplash, the violent whipping motion caused by the force of impact. The pain from these injuries can range from minor to severe. Treatment and recovery time depend on the type of neck or back injury sustained.

Lumbar sprains, a typical result of rear-end car accidents, are damage to the muscles and tissues in the back, causing lower back pain. Many cases of this type can be treated with some rest and over-the-counter pain medication, but an expert evaluation is important to ensure there are no other, more complex problems to be addressed.

Injuries to the bones or discs of the spinal column may be more pressing and require expert care. These types of injuries can range from spinal fractures to compressed nerves. Based on the injury, you could need surgery and long-term physical therapy. Spine injuries can be diagnosed using an x-ray and/or MRI machine, and pain levels may vary depending on the location and type of injury.

Disc herniation is an injury in which one or more of the discs that serve as cushions between spinal vertebrae get compressed or twisted. This injury can happen anywhere along the spine and is generally painful, and can radiate out into your limbs (e.g sciatica). Herniated discs are often treated surgically and usually require physical therapy. If herniated discs go untreated, they could lead to degenerative spinal disorders, pain and loss of motor functions.

SOURCES
https://academic.oup.com/tse/article/1/2/89/5618803?login=false
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/whiplash/symptoms-causes/syc-20378921
https://www.spine-health.com/video/neck-pain-causes-video
https://health.ucdavis.edu/spine/specialties/degenerative.html
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/herniated-disk/symptoms-causes/syc-20354095