Yes, minor car accidents can cause back pain. However, you may not experience symptoms immediately. It could take time for symptoms to develop, which is why you should seek medical attention right after getting into an accident to avoid further injury.
Automobile accidents occur every day. Unfortunately, damages from an accident are not always limited to the automobiles. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke cites car accidents and work-related duties as common causes for lower back pain. Back pain injuries can be sustained even in a seemingly minor accident.
If you begin to feel symptoms of a back injury, seek medical attention immediately. Back injuries should not be taken lightly. According to the American Chiropractic Association, the leading cause of disability is back pain, and over $50 billion is spent on medical care for back injuries in the United States.
Minor Accidents Can Have Serious Consequences
When you are involved in a minor accident, your body is subjected to different forces, such as rotation, acceleration, and deceleration. Minor accidents, such as rear-end, can cause serious injury to your body because they can put your body in a sudden, jolting motion.
For example, your neck is very vulnerable, even in a minor car crash. A sudden rear-end crash can make it whip back and forth, causing a whiplash injury. For some victims, whiplash is a temporary condition, but others might take longer to recover and may need intensive medical care.
Different Types of Back and Spinal Cord Injuries Produce Back Pain
The human spine consists of three parts: the lumbar vertebrae, cervical vertebrae, and the neck. These parts are surrounded by ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves, which can cause different ranges of pain when injured. If a back or spinal cord injury is left untreated, it may lead to chronic back pain and worse injuries.
Different types of back and spinal cord injuries include:
Muscle or Ligament Injuries
There are two types of muscle or ligament injuries: sprains and strains. According to MedlinePlus, a strain stretches the ligaments and muscles, whereas a sprain damages the ligaments. Both injuries may lead to a strain in movement, tenderness, swelling, and bruising, which can limit your daily activities.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries can be severe. According to Mayo Clinic, these injuries can lead to permanent nerve damage and disability. Spinal cord injuries can lead to partial or permanent immobility, loss of reflex function, and loss of feeling in some body parts.
Depending on the type of treatment, spinal cord injury patients may also be exposed to secondary risks, such as spinal fluid leaks, pneumonia, surgery complications, bleeding, and blood clots.
The neck portion of the spine consists of cervical vertebrae. Therefore, injuries in this area may result in permanent damage to the nerves, paralysis, and even death. Sprains and fractures on the neck are mostly caused by high-velocity automobile accidents.
Herniated Discs Injuries
Spinal discs are meant to cushion and protect the spine. Some injuries result in the dislocation of discs. As a result, herniated discs place pressure on the surrounding nerves and the spinal cord. Common symptoms of herniated discs include numbness of legs and sudden and intense pain on the lower back.
What to Do When You Begin to Feel Back Pain After a Car Accident
First, go and seek medical attention – no matter how minor the accident was.
When an accident occurs, adrenaline kicks in immediately. You may not feel the pain at the time, but you should still pay a visit to the doctor to avoid developing a serious back injury. Get yourself checked so that there can be a medical record if you experience neck or back pain afterward. And always follow the doctor’s orders.
After an accident occurs, you will need to report the accident to law enforcement and notify your insurance company. If a negligent party caused your injury, you may receive communication from their insurance company.
Keep the following tips in mind:
Do Not Speak With the Insurance Company Representative
Insurance companies may try to reach out to you to get your side of the events of an accident. Avoid speaking with an insurance company representative. Any statements you make might be used against you if they compromise other details in the case or if you admit that the case might have been too minor to cause your back pain.
Instead, refer the representative to your car accident lawyer, who can protect your legal interests.
Keep All the Records
Ensure you keep records after visiting the doctor, including any prescription or clinic visits concerning back pain. These receipts can be instrumental in forming your case. They can be used for getting both economic and noneconomic damages.
A Lawyer Can Help You Build a Personal Injury Case
Back pain normally does not show right away after getting involved in a minor car accident. Even though it might seem true at first, minor accidents can cause back pain. Therefore, watch out for pain or unusual discomfort after a minor accident.
At George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers, our team can help you build a personal injury case to pursue compensation for your back pain from an at-fault party. Call us today or fill out our online form for a free consultation.