Signs You Have a Back or a Neck Injury
Lots of things can cause chronic back and neck pain. But nothing can cause back or neck injuries like a car accident. A car accident shakes your body in a way that can cause severe injuries for sometimes the rest of your life.
If you were recently involved in a car accident, and you think you might have a serious back or neck injury, then you may need to look into legal options.
Back injuries are the most common serious injury after a car accident, and neck injuries are a close second. Suddenly stopping a vehicle at high speeds (or even at lower speeds) can cause serious damage to your neck or back.
However, these injuries are tricky because it sometimes can take hours, days, or even weeks for symptoms to appear.
Signs of a Neck or Back Injury
If you have a neck or back injury, you will likely feel pain in those areas. However, some clients do not realize that other areas where they have pain may be from a neck or back injury as well.
Unexpected symptoms of back injuries include:
- Numbness in your hands, feet, or legs
- Pain in the legs (radiating up or down)
- Weakened muscles
- Back pain, even if it is not constant
Whiplash is very common after a rear-end accident, and it can cause symptoms that you may not think would have anything to do with a neck injury as well, including:
- Weakness in the arms or hands
- Blurred vision
- Dizziness or vomiting
- Ringing of the ears
- Shoulder pain or stiffness
- Muscle spasms in the back
It is important to seek medical attention immediately if you think you may have a neck or back injury. Your neck and back control a great deal of your ability to feel and move, so treat them with care.
Common Back Injuries After a Car Accident
Several types of back injuries occur somewhat frequently following a car accident.
1. Herniated Disc. This injury is also known as a ruptured or slipped disc. It occurs when the soft material between the vertebrae become displaced or damaged.
It causes the vertebrae to rub together, causing pain, discomfort, and decreased mobility. The discs can also push on the nerves housed in the spine, causing pain, numbness, and weakness in other parts of the body.
2. Spinal Cord Injuries. Your spinal cord links the brain to the rest of the body, allowing your body to move and sense feeling.
Damages to the spinal cord range from complete paralysis to a loss of sensation in virtually any part of the body. The higher the injury on the spinal cord, the more places on your body it will affect.
3. Compression Fractures. This type of injury is far more common in older adults. This tiny crack in the spinal bones will eventually collapse the vertebrae or deform them.
These changes could permanently alter the shape of the spine. Some older adults assume that this type of injury is a normal part of aging, but that is definitely not the case.
Common Neck Injuries Following a Car Accident
Whiplash is by far the most common neck injury after a car accident. It is a form of muscle strain or tear that occurs because the crash suddenly pulls and then suddenly contracts the neck muscles.
Whiplash is not the only neck injury that is common after a car accident. A couple of other injuries appear frequently as well.
1. Pinched Nerve (Cervical Radiculopathy). Your cervical nerves provide feeling and help control movement in the upper arm and shoulder. Sometimes this nerve becomes damaged due to a bone fragment, ruptured disc, or bone spur.
This damage makes the muscles in the arm and shoulder seem weaker and it may be painful. The skin in that area may also experience some numbness. You may need surgery, physical therapy, or other professional assistance to recover from this type of injury.
2. Herniated Disc. You can also experience a herniated disc in the neck. However, this type of injury is usually much more serious than the same injury located lower on the back.
If you have a herniated disc in the neck, then you may experience pain in virtually any part of your body or along a particular nerve. You may feel weakness along the nerve and lose feeling in your extremities (hands, feet, legs, arms).
Seeking Compensation for Your Injuries
If your neck or back injuries are because of a car accident, then you may have a legal claim that can help with your medical expenses and compensate you for your pain and suffering.
Call Glotzer & Kobren for a free case evaluation at 561-300-6900.