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What’s Causing Neck & Lower Back Pain after a Car Accident?

Posted in Car Accidents on July 6, 2021

Neck and lower back pain are common after a car accident. During a car accident, strain is placed on the neck and back, which can cause a variety of injuries. Blunt force trauma may also cause injuries to these areas.

Car accident injuries that could cause pain in the lower back or neck include, but are not limited to:

  • Whiplash
  • Fractured vertebrae
  • Herniated discs
  • Lumbar sprain and strains
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spinal cord injuries

It is never wise to ignore neck or back pain after a car crash. The pain in your neck or back could indicate a serious injury that might require immediate medical attention. A lack of treatment could cause your condition to worsen, and it could result in the other side alleging you failed to mitigate damages.

Common Back and Neck Injuries Caused by Car Accidents

Let’s take a look at the list of back and neck injuries above in more detail.

Whiplash

Whiplash is one of the most common types of neck injuries sustained in a car accident. While rear-end car accidents are the most common type of crash that causes whiplash, any car crash could cause whiplash.

The violent “whipping” of the head causes strains, tears, and damage to the soft tissues in the neck. The result can be chronic and debilitating pain and reduced movement.

Many accident victims recover from whiplash in a few weeks. However, severe cases of whiplash could cause chronic pain for months or years after the accident.

Fractured Vertebrae

The force of the impact can fracture bones in your neck and lower back. The severity of the fractured vertebrae can range from a hairline fracture to a complete break.

Broken vertebrae can be very serious. The fracture can cause damage to the spinal cord, which could result in paralysis, loss of sensation, severe pain, and other complications.

Depending on the severity of the fracture, the doctor might prescribe pain medication and immobilization until the fracture heals. In severe cases, back surgery may be required to repair the fractured vertebrae.

Herniated Discs

The soft, cushion-like material between the vertebrae are the spinal discs. Herniated discs may rupture or move out of place. The result may be chronic, debilitating neck and lower back pain.

Herniated discs may also cause numbness and weakness in the extremities. Doctors may treat the condition with pain relievers, muscle relaxers, and physical therapy. Cortisone injections may also provide some relief.

Severe cases may require surgery to repair the damage. However, surgery is usually the last resort for cases involving trouble walking, loss of bladder or bowel control, or uncontrollable pain.

Lumbar Sprain And Strains

The car crash can cause the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in the lower back to stretch beyond their range of motion. The result is a sprain or strain that causes severe lower back pain and makes it difficult to perform simple physical movements. Doctors may prescribe pain medications, muscle relaxers, and physical therapy.

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the space in the spinal column. Dislocations and fractures of the vertebrae during a car wreck can cause spinal stenosis. As a result, the vertebrae may become unstable and shift, resulting in pressure on the spinal nerves and severe pain.

Spinal Cord Injuries

The risk of spinal cord injuries is also a possibility when you are involved in a car accident. Damage to the spinal cord can result in loss of movement and sensation.

Spinal cord injuries in the neck can result in complete paralysis below the injury site (quadriplegia). Likewise, damage to the spinal cord in the lower back could result in paralysis of the lower extremities.

A person could require continuous medical and personal care if they are paralyzed because of a spinal cord injury.

What Should I Do if I Experience Neck or Lower Back Pain After a Car Crash?

Immediately see a doctor if you have lower back pain or neck pain after a car accident. Your doctor may perform a variety of diagnostic tests to determine what is causing your pain. After identifying the cause of the back or neck pain, the doctor can develop a treatment plan that gives you the best chance of making a full recovery.

As soon as you can, you might also want to discuss your case with a New York car accident lawyer. You could be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages if another driver caused your car accident.

Lower back and neck injuries can result in substantial medical bills, lost income, personal care costs, and other economic damages. You may also experience severe pain and suffering because of your injuries. Therefore, you deserve a fair settlement for your accident claim.

Seeking legal advice early in your case can help ensure you have the information you need to make decisions that protect your legal rights and best interests.

To learn more, call one of our convenient locations nearest you for assistance.

New York City law office at (212) 564-2800,
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