An unforeseen road accident can leave a scar for a lifetime. These accidents can cause many types of bodily injuries including inernal, head, back, hand, and leg injuries. Injuries can be of different types as well. The back of a human body is an intricate web of bones, muscles, nerves, and tissues that extend from the neck to the pelvis. The most common area of a back injury and back pain is the lower back. Some of the most common types of back injury from car accidents are:
Spinal Cord Injuries
A low-speed car accident can damage the spinal cord if it gets bruised, cut, or severed as a result of the force of the impact. If the spinal cord is lacerated or severed in an accident, it can cause permanent paralysis.
Spinal fractures can happen when the seat belt fails to hold your body in place in an accident. That is because the lower half of the body remains still, but the torso and head shift around, resulting in a spinal fracture. A compression fracture is one type of spinal fracture. It is a small crack or fissure along the vertebrae. In the area where the compression fracture occurs it is common to have pain or other symptoms. When you breathe, sit, or walk, the pain may increase. In a compression fracture, there can be bladder issues, numbness, and muscle weakness. Depending on the severity, spinal fractures are treated differently. Some spinal fractures can heal with immobilization and rest, while others may require surgery.
A collision can cause a person with asymptomatic (no symptoms) spinal stenosis to begin feeling symptoms. It is usually not directly caused by a car accident. When your spinal canal is narrowing due to age, and you are experiencing vertebral height degeneration, a collision may cause you to feel symptoms many years before you naturally would have. A spinal specialist can determine if the car accident caused the symptoms of spinal stenosis to accelerate or not, and he will provide you with treatment options.
Sprains and Strains
There are a series of ligaments and muscles throughout your back. When a ligament is stretched or torn, it is called sprain. And when a muscle or tendon is stretched or torn, it is called strain. The sprain or strain of the lower back that happens due to a car accident can cause pain in the back, buttocks, and even the legs.
Among the type of back injuries, whiplash is one of the most common injuries in a car accident. Whiplash causes damage to muscles, ligaments, and tissues of the neck. A whiplash usually happens in rear-end collisions. Because in a rear-end accident, the head and neck are propelled forward while the body stays still, then the head and neck come to a sudden stop, which causes the whiplash. The symptoms of whiplash include pain, stiffness, dizziness, fatigue or blurred vision. It can take several hours, days or even weeks after the accident to notice these symptoms. Whiplash injuries can be mild or severe, and they may require physical therapy to heal.
An accident can impact a great deal of force to the discs cushioning the vertebrae in the spine. That force can shift the discs from their places or compress nerves and cause pain and numbness. This type of injury is called herniated disc injury. It is also known as a bulging, ruptured or slipped disc. This type of injury is usually treated with conservative, non-invasive methods. If the herniation is severe and impacting other vital structures in the body, then surgery can treat the injury. However, doctors often focus on pain relief and physical therapy.
Spondylolisthesis occurs when stress fractures force vertebrae to move out of place. Spondylolisthesis compresses nerves or the spinal canal. It may result in numbness, pain, weakness, and difficulty walking. The treatment options for spondylolisthesis are surgery and physical therapy. Depending on the location of the displaced vertebrae and the extent it is displaced, the treatment option is selected.
Back injuries from a car accident can make your life very miserable. It is important for you to visit a doctor as soon as possible when you see any symptoms of back injuries. If someone else caused or was even just partly responsible for your injury, contact an attorney.