Car accidents are never expected.
They often occur at the worst times, and accident victims never feel right after the impact of a motor vehicle accident.
Sometimes injury symptoms are delayed, while other times the impact is hard enough that you feel it instantly.
One of the most common symptoms after an auto accident is back pain.
Back pain, like other soft tissue injuries, is very common.
However, back pain or a spinal injury does not have to de-rail your entire life.
In the article below, we will discuss what you should do if you notice back pain after a car wreck.
Table Of Contents
- Common Causes Of Back Pain After Car Accidents
- How Long Will Back Pain Last After A Car Accident?
- What To Do If You Have Back Pain After a Car Accident
- Schedule a Chiropractic Appointment Today
Common Causes Of Back Pain After Car Accidents
The term "back pain" describes a host of injuries that cause pain in your neck or back.
Some of these injuries are minor and may heal on their own, but other back injuries require extensive medical treatment or even surgery.
Here are a few common injuries that cause back pain:
Your neck is highly vulnerable to injury during a collision.
Whiplash is the most common neck injury that occurs in car wrecks.
Whiplash occurs when your neck is suddenly forced forward and backward, similar to the cracking of a whip.
This force stretches and tears the muscles and tendons in your neck, resulting in debilitating pain and a loss of range of motion in the neck.
Over half of people diagnosed with whiplash have chronic symptoms, and about 10% of people who suffer from whiplash are permanently disabled.
Whiplash and other neck and joint injuries are common in "minor accidents" like low-speed rear-end collisions.
Mild whiplash might go away with time, rest, over-the-counter pain relief medicine, and hot and cold therapy.
But moderate to severe cases of whiplash can lead to chronic pain and disability and extensive medical bills.
Victims of whiplash injuries should seek immediate medical care.
Common types of treatment that help with whiplash are chiropractic care, physical therapy, pain medication, and foam collars.
Your recovery time will depend on the severity of the injury and how soon you seek treatment.
Muscle Strains and Sprains
Broken bones are obvious injuries after car accidents, but the muscles can be easily strained and sprained.
Your soft tissues, including your muscles, tendons, and ligaments that support your lower back, are interwoven across your back from your shoulders down to your tailbone.
Your soft tissues can be injured when put under too much stress, like in a car accident.
This can result in intense pain and muscle spasms.
It can take six weeks or more to treat a pulled back muscle or ligament, and some severe strains can take months to heal completely.
Spinal Cord Injuries
The most severe back injuries involve damage to the spinal cord.
Your spinal cord runs from your cervical spine to your lumbar spine and is part of your central nervous system.
It's a bundle of spinal nerves and tissues connecting your brain to the rest of your body.
The vertebrae in your spine protect your spinal cord from injury.
If an accident results in spinal cord damage, there are often debilitating long-term and permanent consequences.
Total or partial paralysis and severe pain are possibilities.
Infection, blood clots, spinal fluid leaks, disc injuries, and other serious medical conditions are also possible.
Spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spaces within your spine that puts pressure on the nerves that travel through the spine, can also occur.
How Long Will Back Pain Last After A Car Accident?
Back pain and neck pain typically subsides within six weeks, depending on your injury.
However, significant pain should reduce within a few days following the accident as the soft tissues recover and the inflammation subsides.
Proper pain management and the available treatment options can help speed up the recovery process.
What To Do If You Have Back Pain After a Car Accident
You need to do several things if you notice back pain after a collision.
The very first thing you need to do is seek immediate medical attention.
An accident doctor like a chiropractor will diagnose your back pain and design a treatment plan to relieve your symptoms.
If you can't make it to a doctor right away, try the following to reduce your back pain in the meantime:
- Rest, Ice, and Heat: Rest is vital for acute pain in the back. If you can, take time off work so you don't have to be at a desk or on your feet all day. Ice and heat therapy can also help reduce back pain. Immediately after your accident, you can apply ice packs to the injured area for 15 minutes at a time to reduce swelling. Wait a few days to use heat on the area because heat can increase swelling and bruising. But heat can soothe tense muscles that tighten up as you manage your pain. A hot water bottle can improve blood flow and reduce tension, minimizing your pain.
- Chiropractic Care: Chiropractors treat the "whole person"—not just your back pain. This allows you to gradually increase your daily activity. A chiropractor will emphasize the importance of back pain prevention once your crash injury has healed. Your chiropractor will teach you how to prevent your back pain from getting worse and prevent future back pain. A skilled chiropractor will help alleviate your pain without painful surgery or harmful medications.
- Gentle Exercise: Many people with back pain don't want to move at all, but gentle exercise can help reduce back pain after a collision. Something as simple as taking a short walk a few times a day will help retain your muscle strength and improve blood flow to the injured region. It's essential to maintain muscle strength if you have a back injury because strong muscles support your spine to reduce long-term back pain.
The sooner you receive medical treatment, the better, so seek medical attention as quickly as possible after your crash.
Once you've been diagnosed and have a treatment plan from your doctor, it's time to talk to an attorney near you who specializes in back injury cases.
Personal injury lawyers can help you deal with your insurance company or file a personal injury lawsuit.
Injury claims after motor vehicle crashes are often complicated and involve significant medical expenses, resulting in contested claims.
That's why it's vital to hire an experienced lawyer who can represent you.
Schedule a Chiropractic Appointment Today
The chiropractors at Florida Spine and Injury get accident victims suffering from back pain the medical attention they need.
We provide personalized chiropractic treatment plans to our patients based on their accident and accident injuries, improving their quality of life.
Our treatment plans will treat pain in your entire body and help ensure you don't develop chronic conditions after your wreck.
We can also refer you to a personal injury attorney to help you with your financial recovery and deal with the insurance companies.
If you're suffering from back pain after an auto accident, call Florida Spine and Injury today to schedule a Free Consultation with one of their accident injury chiropractors.