Back pain after a car accident is quite common. Some injuries can resolve on their own without treatment while others get progressively worse if you don’t see a doctor quickly. And then the pain can become debilitating and impact your ability to perform everyday tasks, such as caring for your home or being able to go to work.
You should seek immediate medical attention after a car accident, even if you are only suffering from minor aches and pains. This will ensure you don’t start experiencing excruciating pain a few weeks or even months later because you ignored the minor signs of major injury.
Back injuries are tricky because minor aches in this area are common and easy to brush off as having slept funny, lifted something wrong, or strained a muscle. But in reality, the pain you’re feeling after a car accident could be something serious, such as a herniated disc.
What You Need to Know About Back Injuries
Back pain is nothing like a burn, laceration, or broken bone after a car accident. You can’t see the damage, which makes it easy for victims to brush it off as something that will heal with time.
But the violent motion of throwing your body forward and then back during a car accident can lead to more than minor inflammation of the muscles that support your back.
You might be suffering from a spinal disc injury, which will not resolve on its own. Bulging discs or discs that move out of place, annular tears, and herniated discs are common after a car accident. They can cause severe pain or average back pain that might feel familiar if you ever spent a day gardening or doing serious housework.
Or, you might experience nerve pain, which will likely feel unlike any type of sore back you’ve ever felt.
Injuries to joints in your back are also common. The joints connect to the vertebrae in your spine. When you suffer a joint injury, you’ll likely have low back pain as well as stiffness and inflammation.
Back Injury Symptoms You Should Never Ignore
After a car accident, never assume that any pain will go away on its own. You might be dealing with a serious injury that requires immediate medical attention. So if you experience these back injury symptoms, get to your doctor soon:
- Muscle spasms
- Discomfort when standing or walking
- Burning pain
- Numbness or tingling
- Sharp pain
- Feelings of disorientation
Common Car Accident Back Injuries
After a car accident, victims often suffer back injuries. Some are simple to resolve with minor therapy while others require surgery to fix. Here’s a look at some common car accident back injuries.
- Fractures of the Lumbar or Thoracic Vertebrae: fractures happen when one of the 33 bones in your vertebrae cracks or breaks.
- Facet joint injury: these injuries cause nerve pain and if left untreated, could lead to tightening and spasms. You might experience radiating pain with this injury.
- Back strains and sprains: this is a soft tissue injury or damage to your tendons. These injuries rarely show up on imaging, which can make them challenging to fix and heal.
- Spondylolisthesis: this happens when the vertebra gets displaced due to a stress fracture. This can compress nerves and cause challenges with walking.
- Herniated discs: when this happens, you likely have compressed nerves that cause severe pain, numbness, or even a burning sensation.
- Discogenic pain: these are sharp pains or sensations that can come from sciatica. You might feel pain in your backside, feet, or legs. Even laying down might be uncomfortable.
The best thing to do is to get to your doctor at the first sign of pain. That way, your injury is documented, and you can pursue an insurance claim if you discover you’ve suffered a back injury. Don’t ignore even minor pain because it could be a sign of something serious. For a team of dependable legal professionals contact Stewart & Stewart for a free consultation.