Back Pain After A Car Accident What You Should Know
Back Pain After a Car Accident? What You Should Know
Every day in the United States more than 27,300 car accidents occur on the road, amounting to the staggering total of more than 10 million every single year.
Even if you drive defensively, obey speed limits and use your turn signal, it doesnt mean everyone else on the road acts the same way. As a matter of fact, statistics show that even safe drivers are likely to experience at least 3-4 car accidents in their lifetime.
Of course, many of these accidents will be minor and do nothing but cause a little damage to your car and a headache after dealing with your insurance company.
But sometimes, accidents can be more serious.
Every year, over 2.5 million Americans visit the emergency room as a result of a car accident and in many instances, people find that they start experiencing pain in their neck or back afterward.
Many people have questions when they start feeling back pain and worry that theres been permanent damage done to their spine. Unfortunately, much of the material that appears online can only fuel those fears.
In this article, we bust some of the common myths that arise around back injuries and car accidents and take a real, medical look at what can happen to your spine as the result of a crash.
When Is A Car Accident Work
Generally speaking, you may be covered by workers compensation if you are an employee , were on the clock, and the accident occurred while you were:
- running an errand for your boss or employer
- making deliveries
- traveling for work and have no fixed office, or
- commuting to or from work and are compensated by your employer for travel time
On-the-Job Car Crash Statistics
- Nearly 40% of motor vehicle accidents are work-related, which poses a significant risk to employees who drive for their jobs.
- From 2003-2017, more than 27,000 workers in the U.S. died in a work-related motor vehicle crash.
- Motor vehicle crashes are the 1st or 2nd leading cause of death in every major industry group.
Typically, youre not able to collect workers compensation benefits for a car accident that occurred while you were commuting to or from work , or any accidents that occur during your lunch break and while youre off the clock. The exception to this rule is if you are involved in a crash while on the way to work to pick up supplies for the office or grab a coffee for your boss who specifically asked you to do so.
What Can You Do For Your Back Pain After A Car Accident
Depending on the cause of the pain, there are various treatment options to help improve back pain after a car accident. Interventional pain and spine physicians can diagnose and treat these injuries often without the need for surgical procedures. However, it is essential to seek medical attention within 14 days of your accident to ensure care and help coordinate insurance coverage. Our team can help, and we have appointments available within 48-hours or less. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.
We have also compiled a list of the most commonly asked questions to help every patient figure out their next steps after a car accident. These questions are important when you are starting your search and will help you find the correct provider for your situation.
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What To Do If You Have Back Pain After A Car Accident
You need to do several things if you notice back pain after a collision.
The very first thing you need to do is seek immediate medical attention.
An accident doctor like a chiropractor will diagnose your back pain and design a treatment plan to relieve your symptoms.
If you can’t make it to a doctor right away, try the following to reduce your back pain in the meantime:
The sooner you receive medical treatment, the better, so seek medical attention as quickly as possible after your crash.
Once you’ve been diagnosed and have a treatment plan from your doctor, it’s time to talk to an attorney near you who specializes in back injury cases.
Personal injury lawyers can help you deal with your insurance company or file a personal injury lawsuit.
Injury claims after motor vehicle crashes are often complicated and involve significant medical expenses, resulting in contested claims.
That’s why it’s vital to hire an experienced lawyer who can represent you.
Diagnosing Lower Back Pain And Neck Pain After A Car Accident
The lumbar spine has 5 vertebrae with soft discs in between, and each disc has a tough outer ring surrounding a soft nucleus. When were young the discs consist predominantly of water, but as we age, they lose hydration and become more susceptible to cracking and fissures known as annular tears. These tears lead to inflammation and pain.
Because back pain has so many different causes, its important to have a skilled practitioner properly diagnose your problem. MRIs or tomography are helpful in identifying signs of disc degeneration or damage. However, since some degenerated discs dont cause pain, skilled doctors will recognize the need for other tests, such as discography, to identify all problematic discs.
It is also essential the radiologist and spine surgeon take time to illustrate acute trauma to the spine, as opposed to pain relating to degenerative disc disease.
For a free legal consultation, call
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Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys: Demanding Justice For Car Crash Victims In Alabama And Mississippi
At Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, we take your pain and suffering seriously. When your back injury is keeping you from working, spending time with your family, and enjoying your life, you dont have to suffer alone. Weve won millions of dollars for injury victims just like you, and are ready to speak with you about your claim. Were also happy to meet with you in the comfort of your own home.
Our consultations are always free, confidential, and at no risk to you. To schedule a meeting with one of our experienced back injury lawyers, fill out our quick and easy online contact form or call us at .
The contentprovided here isfor informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.
Pro Tip: Record As Many Details As You Can
Its of utmost importance that you can record as many details as is possible, by writing down information, taking pictures and video recording the scene. Depending on the severity of the accident, doing this may not be possible and youll have to rely on information from witnesses.
In addition to recording your own information, its also important to file a police report as this may be required by your insurance company.
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What Causes Back Injuries
During a vehicle accident, Newtons Laws of Motion come into play. As your car experiences an impact, your body is still in motion until something stops it. A seat belt, airbag, steering wheel, or windshield abruptly halt your bodys movement. In the worst scenarios, your body stops when it hits the ground.
The violent motion can sprain, fracture, or severely injure numerous body parts, especially those affecting your neck, spinal cord, and back. While injuries are often noticed in head-on, rear, and side-impact collisions, even minor incidents can impact your mobility.
What Usually Causes Lower Back Pain Coming From Car Accidents
A vehicle collision can cause various unpleasant ailments, but the most common are muscular strains or tears that occur when the head is forcefully flung forward and backward this is known as whiplash. As a result of this motion, injuries to the spinal discs, facet joints, and bone structure may occur, depending on the events severity.
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Common Back Injuries From Car Accidents
Before seeking pain relief for your auto accident injuries, its important to find out if you are suffering from a serious injury or a minor one. If youre suffering from a serious auto accident injury, such as a concussion, broken bones, or think you may have internal bleeding, seek emergency medical care immediately. Once you have received medical treatment for those, you should seek the help of an experienced back pain doctor. Here are three common back injuries caused by car accidents that can be more serious and more debilitating than a simple muscle strain:
Lumbar sprains can be caused by car accidents, sports injuries, and lifting injuries. They occur when there is trauma that makes the ligaments, muscles, and tendons in the area stretch too much. In car accidents, this can happen when two forces going in different directions suddenly meet.
Spinal stenosis can be related to a ruptured disc or if a bone fragment is in the spinal canal space. When this happens, pressure is applied to nerves or the spinal cord, and it can be quite painful.
Herniated discs can cause lingering pain for years after an accident, especially if they are left untreated. The discs in your spine have softer inner fillings and harder, tougher cases. When there is a rupture, then some of the inner filling touches nerves and causes pain. If you have a herniated disc, the injury may not hurt immediately after the accident. As soon as it does start to hurt, however, the pain can be very severe.
Contact Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers Pa Today
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA 800 North Belcher Road Clearwater, FL 3375 https://www.dolmanlaw.com/legal-services/back-neck-injury-attorneys/
*The above information was reviewed by either Attorney Matthew Dolman or another injury lawyer at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, P.A., which has a combined 100+ years of experience practicing Florida personal injury law. Matthew Dolman himself has been practicing personal injury law in Clearwater and St. Petersburg for the last seventeen years. The information provided comes from extensive research and years of experience trying legal cases in courtrooms throughout Florida.
Stanley Gipe is a Florida Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer, which means that per the Florida Bar, he is authorized to call himself an expert in the field of trial law. Our firm has now handled in excess of 7,500 individual personal injury cases. Further, we have handled thousands of claims and lawsuits involving a myriad of different spine injuries.
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How Long Does Back Pain Last After A Car Accident
The longest time it takes back pain to heal is after a car accident. Most patients with back pain after an auto accident can generally get rid of it within six weeks. However, if the hard tissues of the affected region are recovering as well as the inflammation has subsided, the majority of the pain should decrease within a few days of the injury.
Treatment For Back Pain After A Car Accident
The type and extent of treatment you require for a car accident-related back injury depends on several factors, including the type of injury you sustained, the speed at which your crash occurred, the symptoms you experience and several others that are unique to your situation.
After performing a thorough evaluation, your auto accident doctor may prescribe a treatment plan that includes one or several of the following rehabilitation techniques:
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How Car Accidents Cause Neck And Back Pain
An object in motion stays in motion.
Unfortunately, this law of physics still holds true in a car accident. When your car collides with another, your body continues moving forward until something forces it to stop.
Your seatbelt and airbags help moderate the impact and thus reduce injury by controlling how your body comes to a stop. However, even with these, the spine can be violently jostled during an accident.
Because of this forceful movement on the spine, it is common to experience neck and lower back pain after a car accident.
Car Accidents Have A High Risk Of Causing Neck And Back Injury
What is causing your neck and lower back pain after a car accident?
How long does back pain last after a car accident?
When do I need a car accident lawyer after suffering back or neck pain?
While the majority of drivers on Florida roads are focused and attentive, many can be reckless and negligent. This recklessness can lead to car accidents with serious consequences, like back and neck injuries.
Suffering back or neck pain after a car accident is common. However, it does not have to de-rail your entire life. If you experienced lower back pain or neck pain after a collision, you need an experienced injury attorney on your side from the start.
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When Should You Get Checked By A Doctor
Just because you feel okay after an accident doesnt mean that you are. Your pain could start hours to a few days after an accident. Delayed onset back pain after an auto accident is common and could be a symptom of a spinal injury, herniated disc or a soft tissue injury.
Immediately after a crash, some accident victims may initially feel okay. But when the adrenaline wears off, delayed back pain can present itself in the days or even weeks following. This is why its important to seek medical care even if you dont feel injured.
Getting medical attention immediately after an accident protects you in case that pain does ramp up due to your injury being more severe than you thought. And if you wait to seek medical attention days after the incident, insurance companies can argue that your symptoms are caused by activities that occurred after the accident.
Back Injury Symptoms After Vehicle Collisions
Common car accident injuries leave you feeling sore all over, making it difficult to determine if your injury is back-related.
Since your spine includes your cervical spine and travels down your back to your lumbar spine, the pain you experience can radiate to many different areas.
Back pain after your car accident can be the result of inflammation, fractures, or compressed nerves.
The symptoms you experience can range from manageable discomfort to a complete inability to perform everyday tasks.
Back injury symptoms you may experience after a car accident are:
Headaches, dizziness, or disorientation may also occur from cervical vertebrae injuries from whiplash.
Facet joint injuries can cause neck or shoulder pain.
Since there is such a range of symptoms, you should note how you feel, what activities increase your pain, how often it occurs, and seek medical care right away to prevent permanent damage from occurring.
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Back Sprains And Strains
With a back strain, your soft tissue stretches too much, causing damage. A strain relates to tendons in your back, which connect bones to muscles. In contrast, a back sprain damages the ligaments connecting joints to bones or bones to other bones.
Both sprains and strains can cause annoying pain thats difficult to eliminate. Since imaging doesnt pick up this type of damage, its necessary to discuss the possibility with an experienced physician.
Avoid Long Periods Of Sitting
It’s also important to minimize the amount of time you spend sitting. Sitting can actually put more strain on your back and make the pain worse.
Avoid long car rides if you can and try to get up from your desk at work every 20-30 minutes to walk around and stretch. This will help keep blood flowing properly, which will encourage faster healing.
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Types Of Treatments For Lower Back Pain
Spinal injuries frequently cause a reduced range of motion. This can be due to the nature of the injury preventing motion, or the act of motion causing pain. Physical therapy uses strategic exercises to help restore movement and rebuild any lost muscle mass from lack of motion.
Additionally, if over-the-counter medications arent helping your pain, or you are experiencing other symptoms, your doctor may prescribe more specific medications. This could take the form of stronger painkillers to directly manage your pain, or a sleep aid to make resting easier.
Check Yourself For Injuries
Check yourself for any apparent injuries. Dont assume you are uninjured because you dont immediately notice wounds or feel pain. In the moments after a crash, your body will flood with adrenaline, which masks pain. Even if you arent yet aware of it, you might have one of these common car crash injuries:
- Broken bones
- Sprains, tears, or sprains
Whiplash is a common car accident injury that often has delayed symptoms. But getting a diagnosis is essential because failure to treat whiplash can make it worse. Other injuries like concussions and internal bleeding can go unnoticed but have serious consequences.
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When Should I See A Doctor As A Result Of Whiplash
Most cases of whiplash, while potentially painful, will heal on their own. However, if youre experiencing any of the following symptoms for an extended period of time, you should see a spinal specialist:
- Symptoms spread to the shoulders or arms
- Moving your head is exceptionally painful and not getting better with time
- You feel a bulge in your neck
- You have numbness or weakness in your arms
Often, these types of symptoms are indicative of a more serious problem with the spinal structure itself, likely a herniated disc that is pressing up against the nerve roots that exit your spine. It could also be an indication of damage to the vertebrae itself or the tendon or ligament structures that are connected to the bones.
Regardless of whether or not you are experiencing these more serious symptoms of whiplash, you should always see your spinal specialist after experiencing any kind of trauma to the head or neck that is causing you prolonged discomfort or pain.
Oftentimes, we are not the best judges of our pain and far too often we assume that problems will simply go away on their own. While this is true in most cases, there are instances where medical attention is required and it is always far better to receive that attention as early as possible to avoid any permanent damage.