What Is Causing My Neck & Lower Back Pain After A Car Crash?
Neck and lower back injuries are among the more common car crash injuries, which can occur even in a seemingly minor collision with another vehicle or a stationary object.
The human body is not designed to sustain the sudden, jarring impact that even a low-speed collision can cause, which can result in injuries to the neck or lower back. These injuries can significantly alter the victim’s life in several adverse ways and cause them to suffer persistent pain and/or mobility issues.
Whiplash Injuries in Car Accidents
During a car crash, the speed and momentum of the vehicle creates a sudden acceleration or deceleration that can cause your body to suffer an extreme jerk. This can result in a serious whiplash injury, particularly when the vehicle you are traveling in is hit by another vehicle in a rear-end collision.
Whiplash occurs when the victim’s head and neck moves suddenly backward and then forward in rapid succession until it touches the chest. This can cause the tendons and ligaments in your neck to stretch or tear. Neck pain result from a whiplash injury will typically begin in less than 24 hours following the accident. But some victims may not experience any painful symptoms until several days have passed.
Whiplash-related neck pain may last for many weeks or months, and in some cases, may worsen into a chronic painful condition with long-term physical limitations for the victim. Apart from the pain and stiffness in the neck, you may also experience the following symptoms in this type of injury:
- Frequent headaches (particularly at the skull’s base)
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty in concentrating
- Ringing in the ears
- Sleep difficulties
Get a Medical Check-up Even if You Don’t Notice Symptoms
If you have been in a car accident that caused your neck and lower back to jerk forward and backward violently, you could have suffered a serious whiplash injury. Visit the emergency room or see a doctor even if you do not experience any pain or other symptoms right after the crash.
If you ignore the neck or lower back pain, it could spread to your head, arms or shoulders. Even if the pain goes away, it could keep returning intermittently. Therefore, make sure you seek proper medical attention if you are involved in a car crash.
Herniated or Slipped Disc Injury
Neck or lower back pain following a car crash may sometimes occur because of a herniated or slipped disc. This injury can occur when a disc meant to protect your spinal bones slips out of position. Once the disc is no longer able to support the bones in your back or neck, you will feel significant pain.
Pain from a herniated disc may improve with pain medications and physical therapy lasting for several weeks. But in more extreme car crash injuries, the damage may be deeper, and you might require a surgery. Apart from the pain and discomfort, a herniated disc may lead to the following symptoms:
- Worsening of the pain after standing or walking
- Weakness in arm and shoulder muscles
- Burning or tingling sensation
- Numbness, usually in one side of your body
If the slipped disc is compressing your spinal nerves, the injury could be more serious. In this condition, you could suffer from permanent numbness on one side of the body, or even lose your bladder or bowel control. Surgery may be needed to repair or remove the slipped disc in these types of cases.
A car crash may cause excessive force on your lower back, resulting in a sprain in the lumbar region. This trauma may cause the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in your back to become extremely stretched.
This excessive stretching is termed as a lumbar sprain or strain. Sometimes the signs of this injury will not appear in the diagnostic imaging, and your doctor will rely on your feedback and their own evaluation to determine the diagnosis.
Traumatic Spinal Stenosis
Abnormal narrowing of the body channels is medically known as a stenosis. When this narrowing occurs in the bone channel that encases the spinal cord and spinal nerves, it is called spinal stenosis.
While this condition normally occurs due to aging, a traumatic car crash may cause this even in young people. If this occurs, chances are that a bone fragment or a ruptured disc is penetrating into the spinal canal, putting pressure on the spinal cord or nerves, and resulting in persistent lower back pain.
Call Our Experienced Virginia Personal Injury Lawyers At Buck, Toscano & Tereskerz, Ltd. in Charlottesville, VA, we understand how a car crash can turn your life upside down with neck and lower back injuries. Our skilled personal injury lawyers are committed to pursuing your claim to obtain the just compensation from the at-fault parties. Call us at 434.977.7977 for a consultation or contact us online