Back Pain After a Car Accident

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April 15, 2019
Edward Smith

Back Pain After a Car Accident

Back pain after a car accident is common, and there are many reasons why it happens. Although some back injuries may be minor and heal quickly, others can cause permanent disability and lifelong problems. The intensity of the pain is linked to the type of injury that occurs. So, having a working knowledge of back injuries is important. When a negligent driver has caused a serious back injury, the injured person may want to talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer. The lawyer can tell you what options may be open to you as well as answer your questions.

Diagnosis and Care After a Back Injury

Following a car accident with back pain, a doctor will take an X-ray and possibly an MRI or CT scan to see if it is more than muscular. After a diagnosis is established, the treatment plan will depend on the extent of the injury. This can include:

  • Care for minor injuries: For minor injuries, the patient may be given over-the-counter pain medication and anti-inflammatories. The physician may also recommend that the patient rest and use hot and cold applications to treat sore muscles. The doctor may also recommend a visit a chiropractor for more specialized treatment.
  • Serious injuries: Hospitalization and surgery may be needed for more serious injuries. The extent of treatment depends on the severity of the injury and location. However, those with serious back pain will probably be absent from work for an extended period of time and face higher medical bills.

Types of Injuries

The back pain associated with a car accident can differ depending on the injury. The following are the major types of injuries that can result in pain in the back from a motor vehicle accident.

Cervical Spine Injuries

The cervical spine is located between the head and chest and is frequently injured in a car accident. The most common injury to the cervical spine is whiplash, which is caused when the head whips back and forth rapidly. This causes sprain or strain to the tendons, ligaments, and muscles in the neck. Symptoms may appear right away or be delayed for several days. Many cases of cervical strain or sprain resolve in a few weeks. Others may become a chronic condition causing pain, headache, and other symptoms.

Herniated Disks

A herniated cervical disk is also a possible cause of back pain in the area. It can cause severe discomfort in the arm or leg, numbness, tingling, and muscle spasms. Muscles may become weak over time, interfering with daily tasks. Disks that are severely injured may require surgery to repair.

Injuries to the Spinal Cord

In some cases, car accident back pain can be caused by damage to the spinal cord. Permanent damage causes partial or complete paralysis. In other cases, the sense of feeling may be lost, or reflexes become nonfunctional. Spinal cord injuries may also cause secondary problems such as pneumonia, infections or blood clots. Loss of function depends on the location of the injury. A permanently damaged cord injury in the neck can cause total paralysis. A lower back injury may paralyze and cause loss of sensation in the lower extremity region. About half of the injuries to the spinal cord cause loss of sensation and function below the level of injury.

Injuries to the Thoracic Spine

The thoracic spine runs down the back from the neck to the abdomen. A collision with a speeding vehicle can cause this type of injury. Herniated disks or permanent nerve damage can result. Because this area of the spine is somewhat protected, damage is less common to this area. However, ejection from a car as a result of a crash can damage this area of the spine.

Seeking Advice After a Car Crash

When negligence was the cause of your back injury, an experienced lawyer may be able to help. The lawyer may help by working with the insurance company on your behalf. The attorney can also conduct their own investigation to prove fault by questioning witnesses, reviewing the police report and conducting an independent investigation.

Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento car accident lawyer. A back injury suffered in an accident with a negligent driver can cause long term pain and disability. I strongly believe that no one should have to pay for injuries caused by another person. For my free and friendly advice, please call me at (916) 921-6400. Outside the area, the toll-free number is (800) 404-5400. An online contact form is also available for your use if you prefer.

I belong to the National Association of Distinguished Counsel. It only invites lawyers to join who demonstrate legal excellence in their practice. Another group I belong to is the Million Dollar Forum. It is reserved for trial lawyers who have won more than $1 million for a client.

I’ve helped Sacramento residents for 37 years to obtain compensation for their accident injuries. Some areas I work in include wrongful death, brain injuries and all types of car collisions.

Learn more about my law practice by visiting the following links:

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