Causes of back pain resulting from car accidents that you should be aware of
One of the most vulnerable parts of the human body is the back and spine. No matter how mild a crash may be, any trauma to the back and spine can result in persistent back pain.
Injuries that result in back pain should always be taken seriously from the start. Even if the pain is minor, it can get worse over time and may never go away without the right treatment.
Common causes of crash-related back pain
Back pain doesn't always appear immediately after a crash. Pain is often masked by the adrenaline and shock. Many injuries to the back and spine don't begin showing symptoms until days later.
If you're experiencing back pain that wasn't there before your crash occurred, it may be the result of:
- Whiplash. Whiplash is a soft tissue injury in the neck that often occurs in rear-end collisions. The soft tissue in the neck becomes overstretched and strained due to the head rapidly jerking back-and-forth from the impact of a crash. Symptoms of whiplash often include headaches; neck pain and stiffness; burning and tingling in the arms; pain in the upper back and shoulders; dizziness; and fatigue.
- Herniated disc. A herniated disc occurs when the soft cushioning in between the vertebrae ruptures. The fluid inside of a disc then protrudes and places pressure on nerves. This can result in serious pain and weakness; sciatica; numbness and tingling in the limbs; and sometimes loss of bladder or bowel functioning.
- Vertebrae fractures. The small bones that make up the spine can become cracked or broken during a crash. A fractured vertebrae can pinch or put pressure on the nerves of the spine and cause debilitating pain.
- Spinal stenosis. Trauma and age-related wear and tear on the spine can cause spinal narrowing. This can put pressure on the nerves of the spine and cause back pain, numbness, muscle weakness, and loss of bladder or bowel control.
- Soft tissue injury. Soft tissue injuries in the back often include pulled or torn back muscles or lumbar sprains (overstretching or trauma to the ligaments in the lower back). This can lead to pain, swelling, spasms and loss of mobility in the back.
When should I see a doctor?
You should see a doctor promptly after being involved in a crash, even if you don't feel any pain. Your doctor may perform a medical evaluation and find that you sustained an injury that you may not be immediately aware of. Prompt treatment can prevent your injury from getting worse and speed up your recovery time.
Waiting too long to get treated can only make your condition worse. Delayed treatment can also be leveraged by the other driver's insurance company who will look for any reason to deny or downplay your claim. After seeing a doctor, speak to an experienced Wilmington, NC car accident attorney at the Law Offices of Richard Flexner.
Attorney Flexner and his legal team will investigate the cause of your crash and deal with the insurance companies so you can focus on recovery. To schedule your free and confidential case evaluation, simply fill out our contact form online and we'll get back to you promptly.