A car accident often causes both minor and serious injuries. Many people complain of aches and pains after an accident, and fortunately, most of these go away fairly quickly. However, back pain is one of the most common long-term injuries people suffer following a car crash, and many of these injuries do not simply resolve themselves.
One problem faced by car accident victims with back injuries is that initially at least, these injuries may not seem significant. It is possible to have a relatively serious back injury involving your neck or spinal cord that only presents symptoms sometime after you are injured. If you have already settled your car accident case, you may not be able to collect compensation at this point. This is why it is critical that you always seek immediate medical help after a crash, even if you do not think you are seriously injured.
Areas of the Back Affected by Car Accidents
Back injuries from car crashes can usually be divided into three types based on the areas affected:
- Cervical injuries. Cervical injuries affect the area of the spine in the neck and may be the most serious of all types of back injuries. Because the spinal cord begins in the neck and travels downward, pain in other parts of the body may actually be originating in this area but is felt in other areas. It is important to have your neck checked out after any accident, but especially after a rear-end collision, when back-and-forth whipping motion is common and may lead to cervical damage.
- Thoracic injuries. Your thoracic area is the area around your chest. The spinal cord immediately behind this area is susceptible to certain types of injuries as well as your neck and lower back. While not as common as the other two types of injuries, thoracic injuries can be very serious, involving trouble with breathing and other major problems.
- Lumbar injuries. Lumbar injuries affect the lower back and are one of the most common types of long-term injuries after a car crash. Many people with lumbar injuries develop chronic pain and may lose the ability to work or function normally. Lumbar injuries are often seen when a person is forcefully wrenched during a car accident, either from side to side or front to back. This puts incredible pressure on the lower back and can lead to damage.
Whether the actual mechanism of the injury is soft tissue damage, bone destruction, disc collapse or spinal cord injury, all back injuries can be very painful. They vary in their outcomes depending on where the injury occurred, how drastic it was, how much recovery is possible, and what the patient does to facilitate recovery, such as physical therapy. Identifying the type of injury and taking proactive steps to treat it as much as possible is the only way most people find permanent relief.
If you or someone you love has been the victim of a back injury caused by an accident, it is very important to seek both immediate medical and legal help. By taking charge of your future, you ensure that you have money to pay for proper medical treatment and have the best chance of recovery. Give Barber & Associates a call today to see how we can help.