Back Injuries After a Car Accident
Getting hurt in a motor vehicle crash can be devastating, especially when the collision results in temporary or permanent disabilities and debilitating pain. Back injuries after a car accident can range widely in severity, from minor injuries that can be managed with pain medication and physical rehabilitation to severe injuries that result in paralysis. When a car accident caused by another motorist’s negligence results in a back injury, it is important to learn more about seeking compensation through filing a car accident claim. An auto accident attorney can discuss your options with you.Different Types of Back Injuries
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, a motor vehicle occupant or pedestrian can suffer serious back injuries. According to WebMD, back pain can result from accidents, injuries, and strains. Generally speaking, however, there are two main types of back injuries:
- Spondylolisthesis: This is a type of back injury that typically occurs at the base of the spine, and it refers to a defect or fracture of the vertebrae; and
- Cervical radiculopathy: This is a type of back injury that refers to damage to or disturbance of nerve function in the back.
- Spinal stenosis - Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal and is usually categorized in two ways: primary and acquired. If considered primary, it is probably inherent. If acquired, it is probably the result of disease, aging, or injury.
To be clear, back injuries typically are categorized as those that affect the bones in the back or spine, and those that affect the nerves or nerve roots in the back or cervical area.Back Injuries and Spinal Cord Injuries
In the most severe back injury cases, car accident victims will suffer spinal cord injuries (SCIs). As the Mayo Clinic explains, a spinal cord injury is characterized as “damage to any part of the spinal cord or nerves at the end of the spinal canal.” While a spinal cord injury may not immediately present as a harm that resulted from trauma in the area of a person’s back, severe pain in the back or neck is often a sign of a serious spinal cord injury. In many cases, a spinal cord injury happens in conjunction with damage to the vertebral column, or backbone.
Common signs of a spinal cord injury include but are not limited to:
- Loss of some or all feeling in your back, extremities, or other parts of the body;
- Inability to control some or all movement in your arms, legs, or torso;
- Loss of altered sensations, such as the ability to feel heat, cold, or even touch;
- Loss of control of the bowel or bladder;
- Exaggerated reflexes, or spasms;
- Changes in sexual function, including changes in sexual sensitivity and even in fertility;
- Pain or stinging in the spinal cord;
- Difficulty breathing
The ability for a person to regain movement after suffering a spinal cord injury depends largely upon where the specific injury occurred in the spinal area.Treatment of Back Injuries After Car Crashes
The treatment for a back injury depends entirely on where it occurs in the back, the type of back injury, and its severity. WebMD emphasizes that, in some situations, pain medications and physical therapy can lead to a full recovery, while other patients may require surgery despite the expectation that the patient will still experience paralysis or other permanent disabilities.Contact a Car Accident Attorney About Your Back Injury Claim