Back injuries are one of the most common injuries that occur due to a car accident. The sudden stop of an impact can have a serious effect on your back. However, it can take some time for the symptoms of a back injury to appear, so a victim may not even realize the car accident caused the pain. If you experience any back pain following a car accident, be sure to seek medical help. Your pain could be a symptom of something much more serious.
Signs that You Have a Back Injury
If you have suffered a back injury, pain is by far the most common symptom. Keep in mind that your spine runs the entire length of your body, so pain could occur virtually anywhere. In fact, other symptoms can occur that you may not realize are associated with a back injury, including:
- Numbness in your hands, feet, or legs
- Pain radiating down (or up) your legs
- Weakening muscles
- Back pain, even if it is sporadic
The back is a complex structure that houses vital nerves. Any displacement or injury can have very serious consequences.
A herniated disc, also known as a slipped or ruptured disc, is the most common type of back injury after a car accident. Your back contains small, soft cushions between the vertebrae. They separate the vertebrae and protect them from one another. They also allow your spine to be flexible.
If a car accident displaces or damages a disc, it cannot perform this protective function. That means that the vertebrae could actually grind together. If the disc moves, it may also push up against nearby nerves. If this happens, it can be extremely painful. Pressure on the nerves can also cause numbness or weakness in other parts of the body.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Another common injury relates to damage to the spinal cord. The spinal cord links your brain and the rest of your body, carrying messages back and forth to control movement and your senses. If a spinal cord injury occurs, that means that the impact of the car accident has damaged the delicate nerves inside the vertebral column or spine.
Damages to the spinal cord can sometimes cause paralysis, but it can also cause a loss of sensation in any part of the body. A “complete” spinal cord injury means that there is total numbness and paralysis, whereas an “incomplete” spinal cord injury means that there are some movement problems or numbness in part of the body. The higher the injury on the spinal cord, the more parts of the body it will affect.
Compression fractures are more common when older adults are involved in a car accident. They are tiny cracks in the spinal bones. They will eventually cause the vertebrae to collapse or deform, which could permanently change the shape of the spine.
If you have difficulty breathing, pain, and changes in posture, you may have suffered a compression fracture. These are not a normal sign of aging, so you should seek medical attention immediately.
Assistance with St. Louis Car Accident Claims
If you have been involved in a car accident that may have affected your back, you should seek medical attention immediately. Then, call The Dixon Injury Firm at 855-552-2337 for a free case evaluation. We can help you determine if bringing a personal injury lawsuit is the right option for you.