What are the most common crash-related back injuries?
Back injuries caused by traffic collisions should always be taken seriously, even if the pain is minimal. That's because the spine is a sensitive part of the human body, so even the slightest damage can result in pain and discomfort that can worsen over time.
The spine keeps us erect and mobile. Each vertebra (the small bones that make up the spine) is cushioned by gel-like discs that are filled with fluid. The impact of a crash can break the vertebrae or result in a disc protrusion.
It's important to understand that if you were involved in a crash, you may not be OK, no matter how well you feel. Here's why you should see a doctor immediately. We'll start with minor, yet common, back and spine injuries.
Whiplash is one of the most common crash-related injuries
If you were rear-ended by another driver while sitting at a traffic light, the jolt that causes your head to whip backward and forward likely caused some damage to the soft tissue and vertebrae in your neck.
You may feel OK immediately after and are experiencing some adrenaline from your crash. This may mask any pain or discomfort in your neck, so it could take several days for the symptoms of whiplash to fully manifest.
People who sustain whiplash often experience:
- Neck stiffness
- Tenderness in the shoulders, upper back, arms, and neck
- Pain in the jaw and face
- Confusion and disorientation
- Mood changes
- Tingling in the arms and hands
Whiplash is generally not as debilitating as more severe back and spine injuries, but it could make life miserable for those who experience it. That's why it's best to see a doctor immediately after a crash.
Through a medical evaluation, your doctor may diagnose your whiplash and begin treatment before it worsens. Treatment for whiplash often includes:
- Physical therapy
- Pain medication
- Chiropractic care
- Severe back and spine injuries
Back and spine injuries caused by high-impact crashes tend to be more severe. For example, a head-on collision, frontal collision, or side-impact crash can dislodge or break the vertebrae in the spine. A crash can also cause a slipped or herniated disc, which occurs when fluid protrudes and places pressure on the nerves in the spinal cord.
Severe back and spine injuries can make walking, standing, sitting, or resting in certain positions painful. Some people may experience sciatica, which involves severe shooting pains that extend through the lower extremities. Others may experience loss of mobility in the back and hips, tingling and burning sensations, loss of bowel or bladder control, or paralysis (in extreme cases).
Why should I hire an attorney?
If you sustained a back injury in a crash, you may be a little frustrated. You may need to take time off from work and avoid many physical activities. If your spinal injury is severe enough, your life may be impacted forever.
Treatment for back and spine injuries is often costly and extensive. Some people who think they have recovered may experience reoccurring pain days, weeks, or months later.
That's why it's critical that you consult with an experienced car accident attorney who can help you get the care and financial compensation you need.
Villari, Brandes & Giannone, P.C. has built a reputation in Pennsylvania and New Jersey for helping injured motorists maximize their compensation. Our law offices are in Conshohocken, Philadelphia, and Marlton. Contact us online to find out how we can help you.