How likely am I to sustain back pain from a crash?
If you were involved in a collision, you may feel back pain immediately, or it may sneak up on you days later.
Crash-related back pain may be caused by damage to the:
- Muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the back
- Vertebrae in the spine
- Discs in between the vertebrae
- Spinal cord or nerves in the back
Low-impact crashes and back pain
Back pain can be caused by something as minor as a low-impact rear-end collision while you're stopped at a traffic light. This type of crash usually results in whiplash, a condition that causes loss of mobility and pain in the neck.
A rear-end collision may also cause other types of spine and back injuries. The impact can throw off or dislodge the vertebrae in the spine, resulting in discomfort, muscle spasms, and tingling in the limbs.
A low-impact crash can effect any region of the spine, especially the:
- Cervical region —seven vertebrae of the neck
- Thoracic region — 12 vertebrae of the mid back
- Lumbar region — the five vertebrae in the low back
Serious back pain caused by high-impact crashes
High-impact rear-end collisions, head-on collisions, frontal-collisions, and broadside crashes can result in more serious injuries to the back and spine. The pain may be far more severe than a nagging discomfort.
Common back injuries caused by high-impact crashes include:
- Spinal fractures: The vertebrae is either cracked or is broken. This places pressure on the nerves in the spinal cord.
- Bulging discs: A disc between the vertebrae becomes ruptured. The fluid inside of the disc protrudes onto the nerves in the spinal cord.
- Sciatica: A bulging disc or other spinal protrusion causes pain that extends down the lower extremities.
People who sustain serious back injuries may also have trouble walking, standing, and sleeping in certain positions. Loss of bowel or bladder control may occur in extreme cases.
Should I see a doctor after being involved in a crash?
You should always see a doctor after being involved in a crash, even if you don't feel any pain. Back pain doesn't always appear immediately. It can sometimes take several days to manifest and impact your ability to perform work or engage in activities you enjoy.
Your doctor will likely perform an x-ray or MRI to identify any abnormalities in your spine. Treatment may require:
- Taking time off from work
- Refraining from certain activities
- Taking medication for pain and inflammation
- Physical therapy
- Use of a back brace
- Surgery (if your injury is serious enough)
After meeting with your doctor, it's important that you consult with an experienced South Carolina car accident attorney who can accurately tally up your medical expenses, wage losses, and other damages accrued from your crash.
Contact Twenge + Twombley Law Firm to explore your legal options. We serve clients in Beaufort, Bluffton, and Hilton Head.