A car accident can be quite stressful. Back pain is one of the most common injuries to come from it. Often, your body will go into shock so you won’t feel any pain initially, but as time passes you will start to notice discomfort and symptoms that will make you wonder what to do about your back pain after a car accident.
Types of Back Injuries To Look for
Your back is a very important part of your body, it holds your head, allows you to walk, bend, and sleep. Therefore, paying close attention to it when it has been injured is key. Some injuries may be worse than others, but the only way to find out is to learn about them. Here are the types of back injuries to look out for:
Thoracic Spine Injuries. This is the most serious type of back injury. This injury is caused by high-speed auto accidents and often results in permanent disability due to the thoracic spine connecting to a very important area, the ribs and chest area.
Lumbar Spine Injuries. The lumbar spine is composed of 5 large vertebrae and muscles that give the spine its stability. An injury to the lumbar spine can be very painful. Spraining your lumbar spine means that your ligaments are damaged. Straining your lumbar spine means that you have stretched your ligaments, tendons, or muscles. For both types of injuries, you will experience a hard time moving and you will have swelling, bruising, and tenderness. Your daily routine will be affected due to this.
Herniated Discs. A herniated disc is a displaced disc. Herniated discs occur by, you’ve guessed it, a forceful impact that pushes the disc out of its place. The displaced spinal disc applies pressure on the spinal cord or the surrounding nerves. The most reported symptoms include sharp pain localized in the lower back and a numbing sensation in the legs.
Spinal Cord Injuries. Injuries to the spinal cord can lead to long term disability. Your spinal cord can be bruised or pressurized to the point of paralysis. Depending on the severity of the injury, it can be partial or complete paralysis. There will be a loss of feeling in target areas of the body and impaired reflexes. Secondary medical problems can stem from spinal cord injuries such as infection from surgery, blood clots, bleeding, pneumonia, and spinal fluid leaks.
Treatment for Back Injuries
It is important to get X-rays and examined with CT scans, MRIs, and more tests that the doctor will determine to be necessary. Treatment will depend on the diagnosis. Back injuries with short-term treatment will most likely consist of pain medication, injections to treat inflammation, physical therapy, and a trip to the chiropractor.
Serious back injuries will require surgery. During surgery, alleviating pressure on the spinal cord will be a priority as well as removing a ruptured disc or fusing vertebrae.
Do You Have Whiplash?
Whiplash is a common pain after a car accident. This neck injury happens when a muscle, tendon, or ligament is extended past its normal range, usually when you are pushed forward in your seat and then backward from the impact of a car crash. This causes strain in your neck. The soft tissues in your neck can tear and produce localized neck pain, stiffness to your neck, and inflammation.
Symptoms of Whiplash
Headaches at the base of the skull
When To See a Doctor for Back Pain
If you are feeling numbness or extreme back pain after a car accident, what you should do is go to the emergency room. There will be no wait there. The sooner you are seen, the better chances you have of needing short term medical treatment. Stop by one of our four 24 hour locations in Katy, River Oaks, Clear Creek, and Jersey Village. We are a lot closer than your nearest major hospital.