7 Injuries That Can Cause Back Pain After an Accident

Nov 12, 2021

7-Injuries-That-Can-Cause-Back-Pain-After-an-AccidentAfter a car accident, you may expect to feel some soreness throughout your body, especially in your back. While it’s common, this back pain can have a number of sources depending on the type and seriousness of your accident. Because it may not be clear exactly what is causing your pain, it’s important to seek back pain treatment as soon as possible to avoid serious problems down the line. Read on for some of the injuries sustained in car accidents that are most likely to lead to back pain.

1. Pulled or Torn Muscles

Even if you are held in place properly by your seatbelt, the force of an accident can be enough to cause your body to jerk suddenly. This is especially common when your head moves quickly, leading the tissues in your neck to stretch beyond what they should, placing strain on them or even tearing them. This is known as whiplash and impacts the neck, though the same muscle damage can happen anywhere in your body. A pulled or torn muscle can limit the range of motion in your back in addition to being painful.

2. Ruptured or Herniated Discs

The spine is made up of a series of bones, called vertebrae, stacked on top of one another in a column formation. To prevent these bones rubbing against each other and absorb shock, there are small gel-filled discs between each set of vertebrae. With enough force to the spine, one of these discs can be jerked out of place or even rupture, exiting the small cavity where they are meant to be. With discs in the surrounding area, the nerves in that area are compressed, which can cause pain, tingling, numbness, or even loss of feeling in the limbs.

3. Sciatica

The longest nerve in the body is the sciatic nerve, which stretches from the lower back down the buttocks and into your legs. Pressure on the lower back can cause this nerve to become inflamed, a condition known as sciatica. In addition to causing pain, sciatica is known to cause a burning or tingling feeling that stretches down one of your legs.

4. Fracture

If the force in an accident is strong enough, it can cause a fracture in one or multiple of the bones in your back. These fractures can range from mild, hairline fractures to a complete shattering of the bone, but any fracture should be taken seriously. Any intense or sudden pain after an accident, especially if it worsens with movement, can indicate a fracture. If you suspect this, you should call for help and move as little as possible to prevent much more serious injuries.

5. Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal and is a condition that cannot be caused by an accident. Instead, it usually develops over time due to degeneration or chronic conditions like arthritis. But in a car accident, this process can be sped up, leading to a sudden onset of the condition. When the spinal canal is narrowed, it places pressure on the nerves in the spine and causes pain.

6. Facet Joint Injuries

Facet joints sit between various bones in the spine, and nerve roots run through them to connect to different parts of the body, like your limbs. These joints allow you to bend and twist without causing damage to the spine, but when one is injured, these nerves experience pain. When the muscles tighten or spasm, it can worsen this pain.

7. Spondylolisthesis

Brought on by a stress fracture, spondylolisthesis occurs when a vertebra is moved out of place, compressing the spinal canal and surrounding nerves. The severity of this condition can vary based on how far the vertebra has been displaced, but common symptoms include weakness, pain, and numbness, as well as an eventual difficulty walking.

Back Pain Treatment After an Accident

Any back pain after a car accident should be immediately evaluated by professionals. While many of these injuries are mild and can be healed with simple treatment, others like spinal cord injury can be serious and lead to things like permanent paralysis. Even if you are not yet experiencing pain, visiting AICA Lithia Springs after an accident can help you identify any injuries and begin treatment.

Whether your injury requires regular chiropractic care, physical therapy, or orthopedic surgery, AICA Lithia Springs has a specialist who can work with you to meet your goals for recovery through a personalized treatment plan. Contact us today for your first consultation.


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