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Can A Car Accident Cause Permanent Back Pain?

Posted by Florida Spine and Injury | Dec 15, 2022 12:56:34 PM

Key Takeaways:

  • It is possible for back pain to be permanent after an auto accident.
  • It is important to seek medical care after an accident right away, no matter how you feel.
  • The chiropractors at Florida Spine and Injury can help treat back pain after a car accident.


After a motor vehicle accident, people often feel sore in one or more parts of their bodies. For example, back pain is one of the most common complaints after an auto accident.

Some back injuries get better with rest, but others can cause permanent pain.

If you don't treat a back injury immediately, it can be challenging to perform daily tasks without pain.

That's why it's essential to seek medical care right away.

A doctor can examine your injuries and treat them before the pain gets too bad.

If an injury isn't treated, it can cause chronic and permanent pain that requires long-term medical care.

In the article below, we'll talk about permanent back pain after a car accident and how chiropractic care can help

Table Of Contents



What Causes Back Injuries?

Newton's Laws of Motion come into play when a car crash happens.

When your car hits something, your body keeps moving until something stops it.

That something is usually a seat belt, airbag, steering wheel, or windshield.

In the worst-case scenario, your body is in motion until it hits the pavement.

Many body parts, especially your neck, spinal cord, and back, can be sprained, broken, or severely hurt by this violent movement.

Head-on, rear-end, and side-impact collisions often cause back injuries, but even seemingly minor accidents can cause lasting pain.

The following injury symptoms may be associated with back injuries:

  1. Stiffness.
  2. Numbness or tingling in arms, hands, legs, or feet.
  3. Difficulty standing or walking.
  4. Pain that radiates down the buttocks and legs.
  5. Muscle spasms.
  6. Pain.


Common Types Of Back Pain After A Car Accident

The term "back pain" is often used to describe a wide range of injuries that hurt the neck or back.

Some back injuries are minor and can heal on their own with rest, while others need a lot of therapy or even surgery.

whiplash is a common injury


Whiplash Injury

Your cervical spine is easily injured during the impact of a car accident.

Whiplash is a very common car accident injury; more than 3 million new cases of whiplash are recorded annually.

Over half of whiplash diagnoses are chronic, and 1 in 10 people suffer permanent pain and damage to their neck.

In "minor," low-speed rear-end incidents, whiplash and neck injuries are common.

Whiplash occurs when the neck jolts violently backward and forward, tearing the neck muscles and tendons.

Mild whiplash sometimes goes away with time, rest, pain medications, and hot or cold compresses.

Severe whiplash can cause chronic pain and impairment. Physical therapy, chiropractic care, pain medication, neck injections, collars, and surgery may be used for severe cases.


Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative spinal disorder is a group of conditions that happen when one or more of the discs between the vertebrae are damaged, torn, pinched, or deteriorated, causing a lot of back pain.

Even though degenerative disc disease is usually caused by aging, traumatic events like a severe car accident can speed up the process.

This type of injury can cause a wide range of health conditions, including:

  1. Degenerative scoliosis
  2. Osteoarthritis
  3. Spinal stenosis
  4. Herniated (slipped or bulging) discs
  5. Pinched nerves
  6. Sciatica
  7. Bone spurs
  8. Spondylolisthesis

"Discogenic" pain comes from an injury to a spinal disc.

Discogenic pain is usually shooting, sharp, and debilitating.

It can happen when you are still or when you are doing something that irritates the disc.

People often feel this pain in their legs, buttocks, feet, and groin.

Depending on the exact condition, there are different ways to treat degenerative disc disorders.

These include non-surgical treatments like painkillers, steroids, heat/ice therapy, electrical shocks, surgical treatments like disc removal (discectomy), and spinal fusion.

Recovery times vary depending on the condition.


Muscle Strains And Sprains

Your back is made up of soft tissue from your shoulders to your tailbone.

Soft tissues are the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that support your lower back.

Soft tissue injuries occur when these tissues are put under too much stress.

A pulled back muscle or torn ligament can cause pain and muscle spasms that are much worse than you might expect.

A pulled muscle or ligament in the back can take up to 6 weeks to heal, and some strains are so bad that they can take months to get better.

During this time, some positions and daily activities may make the back pain worse or impossible to do.


Spinal Cord Injuries

The most severe back injuries are spinal injuries. And unfortunately, they are relatively common injuries.

Your spinal cord is a bundle of nerves and tissues that connect your brain and the rest of your body.

Your spinal vertebrae are made to keep your spinal cord, which is part of your central nervous system, from getting hurt.

When an accident or collision causes spinal cord injuries, the long-term and permanent effects are often very painful and hard to deal with.

Total or partial paralysis, intense pain, infections, blood clots, spinal fluid leaks, and other serious health problems are all possible.

Seek medical treatment after an accident

What To Do If You Have Chronic Back Pain After Car Accident

Follow these steps if you have chronic back pain after a car accident to ensure you get the best medical care.

They will also ensure you get any legal compensation you may be entitled to:


Get Examined By A Doctor Right Away

Diagnosing an automobile accident injury quickly is crucial.

Acute, chronic back pain after a car accident can be caused by an extruded spinal disc fragment that can cause nerve damage or paralysis.

The sooner a person seeks medical treatment for an accident, the sooner they can start recovery.

A doctor can diagnose your illness with a physical examination and imaging tests.

In addition to aiding in your recovery, early medical evidence will verify the car crash caused your injuries.

Insurance companies will want early treatment and medical evidence when they are asked to pay for necessary medical care.

Documenting the injury and treatment makes getting a full and fair legal settlement for your injury easier if another driver's carelessness caused it.

Delays in obtaining treatment make it tougher to convince insurance companies to pay for therapy and to get a fair legal settlement after a crash.


Don’t Play The Waiting Game

No matter how small or insignificant your back injury seems, it could be the start of a serious injury if you don't treat it right away.

Many people think their injuries are minor after an accident, but after a few days or weeks, the pain gets so bad they can't do anything.

Several things could be going on in your back causing the pain.

Sometimes, the crash causes a tear in the rigid outer annulus of a spinal disc.

As the person moves around and goes about their daily life, more and more disc material starts to stick out of the tear in the annulus.

This can cause a herniated disc in the spine and the need for surgery.


How Can A Chiropractor Help Me After a Car Accident?

If you have joint pain, back pain, or neck pain after a car accident, chiropractic care might help.

A chiropractic adjustment can help with whiplash and other injuries that cause pain, swelling, and loss of range of motion.

Your treatment plan will also make sure that your injuries don't get worse.

A chiropractor can also tell if you've hurt yourself in other ways that need more serious care.

If so, the chiropractor can send you to a surgeon or another specialist to treat the injury.


Choose Florida Spine And Injury

After a car accident, it's essential to find the right chiropractor as soon as possible.

Our Florida Spine and Injury chiropractors are trained to help people who have hurt their back in an accident get the medical care they need.

After giving you a complete physical exam, they'll devise a treatment plan to help you get better.

When accident victims go to Florida Spine and Injury, they get care specific to their accident and injuries.

Our chiropractors use the latest technology to determine what's wrong with you and treat it.

They will do everything they can to provide complete care that meets your needs.

If you were in an accident recently, call Florida Spine and Injury today to set up a free consultation with a chiropractor specializing in accident injuries.


Free Car Accident Injury Consultation


Topics: back pain

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