Car Accidents and Back Pain
Car accidents are known for causing back and neck injuries. Being rear ended can cause immense back pain. The force that happens on impact of a car accident can be severely damaging to these areas of the body that are crucial to bodily function. When a car slams into another car or object, the inertia of the opposing forces causes everything in the car, including the person inside, to move in that direction. However, there is only a certain amount of room in the car and eventually the car door, dashboard, seat-belt, steering wheel, or other object is going to stop the forward momentum. This force causes enormous pressure on the back and neck.
The jerking motion that happens is often called whiplash and can cause a variety of injuries to the spine. Although your spine is a vital part of the body, it is not designed to handle the force of these impacts. Lower back and neck injuries that result can be extremely painful and debilitating. The most common types of injuries resulting from these accidents are facet joint injuries and disc injuries.
Diagnosing Lower Back Pain Caused by a Car Accident
Your lower back, or lumbar spine, is made up of five vertebrae with a disc in between. Each disc is composed of a soft center with a tougher outer ring. Back pain can result from a variety of things, which is why if your back is hurting after a car accident it is important to have a doctor diagnose your problem, often using the assistance of tests such as an MRI.
Treating Disc Pain
Anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy are often the first steps for treating lower back pain caused by disc issues. If these treatments do not bring enough relief, there may be non-surgical options for relieving your pain such as epidural corticosteroid injections. If all other options for pain relief have been unsuccessful, the only other option left for relief may be surgery.
Facet Injuries Caused by Car Accidents
Facet joints are not as widely known as discs, but play an important role in the body. These joints are surrounded by a flexible, thick membrane that secretes fluid to lubricate the joints and allow the spine to easily move. These joints help support body weight and help with movement that occurs between each spinal vertebra. They work in conjunction with the discs to allow controlled, strong movements throughout the body and spine. These joints, in order to function properly, have large nerve endings, making them extremely painful if damaged.
Symptoms of facet joint damage include spasms that often force the spine out of alignment resulting in even more neck and/or back pain. Other symptoms vary greatly and are often mistaken for disc issues.
What Can You Do?
Car accidents involve an extraordinary amount of force, and the injuries that result from them can include traumatic and painful lower back and neck pain. Although sometimes these injuries can be healed with minor treatments and medications, sometimes they require intense treatments and even surgery.
If you have been injured in a car accident and are experiencing lower back or neck pain, an experienced car accident attorney can help you obtain the damages that you are entitled to so you can focus on your recovery.