What Causes Back Pain Following a Car Accident? – Explained
Last updated Tuesday, November 7th, 2023
What Causes Back Pain Following a Car Accident?
After a car accident, you might incur different types of injuries that may, in turn, causes issues such as lower back pain. Here, we’ll look into the leading causes of back pain after a car accident. Back pain following a car accident may be caused by whiplash, which is often a result of the neck muscles and ligaments being forced beyond their normal range of motion. This can lead to sprains, strains, herniated or ruptured discs, and even neural damage. Other back injuries in motor vehicle accidents include compression fractures and fractures from direct impact trauma. These injuries could cause chronic pain if not treated properly and require long-term medical interventions for definitive resolution.
Whiplash is a neck injury that results from the forceful movement of the neck back and forth, similar to a whip cracking. Whiplash is usually caused by a rear-end car accident. Whiplash can also result from physical abuse, sports accidents, and trauma, including falls.
This is a condition that refers to an issue with the rubbery disc present between the spinal bones. The condition typically occurs when the spinal disc’s soft center pushes through a crack in the exterior casing.
Spinal Cord Injuries
A spinal cord injury (SCI) is a medical condition that occurs when damage to any part of the spinal cord or nerves at the end of the spinal canal. Spinal injuries can lead to a full or partial loss of functions such as:
- and bladder and bowel control.
SCI can be caused by trauma, infection, diseases, or tumors and can leave victims paralyzed from the location of the injury. Spinal cord injuries are severe and require medical attention to prevent further damage. Spinal cord injury can cause intense pain that lasts lifelong.
Facet Joint Injury
Facet joint syndrome is a condition that is somewhat similar to arthritis; however, the disease affects the spine, and it can cause significant neck or back pain. It may be caused by degenerative changes occurring between the spine’s bones. The cartilage in the facet joint may break down and be inflamed, thus triggering pain signals in the nerve endings.
This is an injury to the tendon or muscle. On the other hand, a back sprain is the tearing or stretching of a ligament.
Lumbar or Thoracic Vertebrae Fractures
A lumbar or thoracic spine fracture commonly causes severe to moderate back pain that usually worsens when you move around. If the nerves or spinal cord are involved, a patient will experience the following:
- Bladder/bowel dysfunction
- or weakness in the limbs.
This is a condition that refers to an issue with the rubbery disc present between the spinal bones. The condition usually occurs when the spinal disc’s soft center pushes through a crack in the exterior casing. Some herniated discs don’t have any symptoms, whereas others typically irritate nearby nerves, resulting in numbness, weakness, or pain in the leg or arm.
Degenerative Spinal Disorders
A degenerative spine disorder involves the gradual loss of the normal function and structure of the spine with time. They’re usually caused by aging; however, these disorders mainly result from tumors, arthritis, or infections. Herniated or slipped discs may cause nerve roots and spinal cord pressure caused by degeneration.
Spinal stenosis is a condition of the spine where the spinal canal narrows, placing pressure on nerve roots and/or the spinal cord. Symptoms of spinal stenosis can include pain, numbness, and weakness in the arms or legs. Severe cases may cause difficulty with breathing, bladder and bowel control, and even paralysis. Diagnosing spinal stenosis usually involves imaging tests such as an MRI or a CT scan, which will show the narrowing of the canal. Treatment for this condition could include physical therapy to help strengthen muscles, medications to reduce inflammation or relieve pain, or surgery to widen the canal and relieve pressure on nerves.
A neck injury is an injury to the cervical spine or neck. Neck injuries vary in severity, ranging from whiplash due to a sudden impact, such as a car accident, to a catastrophic spinal cord injury with paralysis. Depending on the cause of the neck injury and its severity, treatments such as medication, rehabilitation therapy, and surgery may be required. In some cases, temporary or permanent disability can result from neck injuries.
Back Injury Warning Signs
Some of the warning signs of a back injury include:
- Pain that usually worsens with coughing, laughing, sneezing, or movement.
- Tenderness or pain
- Difficulty standing up in an upright position
- Difficulty moving or stiffness
- Muscle spasms
- Pain radiating down one or all legs.
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Injured in a car accident? Contact your Birmingham car accident lawyer to get the compensation that you deserve.
Diagnosing Lower Back Pain and Neck Pain After a Car Accident
There isn’t a reliable imaging study that can show lower back pain. Instead, the doctor will diagnose such an injury through a physical exam or medical history.
Medical Treatment For Back Pain After an Accident
There are various treatment options that a medical practitioner can administer to deal with lower back pain after an accident, and surgery is one of them.
Back surgery usually helps to ease the causes of lower back pain after a car accident. Most of the back pain can get better within three months. However, in extreme cases, the doctor may recommend surgery.
Corticosteroid injections are anti-inflammatory medications injected directly into the affected area to reduce inflammation, swelling, and pain. The injection contains a combination of corticosteroids and an anesthetic. It is typically used to treat joints or muscles that have become swollen due to tendonitis, bursitis, and carpal tunnel syndrome. Corticosteroid injections can also be effective in treating some forms of arthritis. While the effects are often temporary, they can relieve for months before needing another injection.
Kyphoplasty as a Surgical Treatment for a Spine Injury
Kyphoplasty involves injecting a particular type of cement into the vertebrae, and there is an additional step involving creating space for treatment using a balloon-like device. Through Kyphoplasty, it is possible to restore the damaged height of the vertebrae and help relieve back pain.
Physical therapy is usually a part of any treatment plan for chronic back pain. Physical therapy can help strengthen muscles, prepare your back for surgery, and always help heal your back after surgery.
Dealing with Insurance Adjusters Following a Car Accident
Some of the tips to consider when dealing with an insurance company include the following:
Don’t Admit Fault for the Accident
After a car accident, never admit fault. Why? Your job description doesn’t involve determining the party to blame for the crash.
Avoid Issuing a Recorded Statement
The insurance company will try to solicit a recorded statement from you after the accident. In such an instance, avoid issuing a recorded statement regardless of the pressure you get from the insurance firm. Before starting the record, you must consult a car accident attorney. The lawyer will ensure that your statement aligns with your best interests.
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Contact us today and we will help you get the compensation that you deserve.
Why Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Personal injury lawyers can assist you in seeking compensation for the injuries you incurred after the car accident. The lawyer will protect your best interests against the large corporations and insurance companies that want to avoid parting with fair compensation for the damages and injuries after the car accident.
Will My Medical Costs Be Covered Before a Settlement?
The medical costs are part of the settlement, so they aren’t covered before the payment.
What If I Miss Work Due to my Injury?
You’ll be compensated for lost wages resulting from your inability to work because of lower back pain after a car accident.
How Long Will It Take to Reach a Settlement?
The settlement process can take weeks or months. If everything goes well, the other party at fault will agree to the settlement for the damages.
What Damages Can I Pursue After a Car Accident?
- Physical damages related to medical bills caused by accident.
- Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering or mental anguish.
- Compensation for lost wages from missed work due to injuries suffered in the accident.
- Punitive damages can be awarded in extreme cases of negligence or misconduct in causing the accident.
How Much Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Cost?
Mezrano Law Firm works on a contingency. A contingency fee basis means the law firm will not charge you anything unless you win a settlement or in court. A contingency fee ensures the victim pays nothing out of pocket and that the law firm works hard for your case. We also offer contingency for other areas of practice, such as:
- Personal Injury Lawyer
- Premises Liability Lawyer
- Car Accident Lawyer
- and more
Contact Mezrano Law Firm
If you suffered back injuries due to a car accident that wasn’t your fault, contact our personal injury lawyers today. Because many things can cause back pain following a car accident, you need an experienced car accident lawyer from Mezrano Law Firm.