Various injuries occur due to car accidents—including back injuries, a trauma in the back, spinal cord, and head; burns; and broken bones. Once you get out of danger, the healing journey follows in various steps. Suppose the vehicular accident in which you were involved was another person’s fault. Most likely that calling the insurance company and an auto accident lawyer is your next logical move to get everything sorted out.
With or without apparent injuries, it’s necessary to see your doctor. Some damages only show after a day or more of appearing fine. But when you meet your doctor, they’ll identify what’s generally called minor injuries. Others in a minor accident opt not to see their doctor altogether, thinking they’re perfectly all right and not needing medical attention.
In a minor accident, you’ll usually get a few common injuries, such as soft-tissue injuries, whiplash, lacerations, migraines and headaches, bruised ribs, and broken bones. In rear-end collisions, the most subtle injury is whiplash.
What Causes Back Pain After a Car Accident?
Back pain and car accidents go together, and usually, the extent of the discomfort depends on the cause. Some reasons for back pain include herniated, bulging, ruptured, or protruding discs; sprains or strains; whiplash; fractures; bone alignment problems; spinal injuries and spinal stenosis; and soft tissue damage.
A herniated disc happens when your back receives the most impact during an accident. Discs protect the spine by absorbing shock from any impact. With discs separated from the vertebrae, it can get painful. However, this injury usually heals within six weeks. If the pain and discomfort get severe, you will need surgery.
Again, the most subtle cause of pain is whiplash, causing pain in the neck or back. The patient can develop symptoms such as loss of range of motion in the neck; pain and stiffness in the shoulders, neck, and head, chronic headaches or migraines; numbness and tingling in the upper extremities; fatigue and dizziness; and occasional memory and vision problems.
Usually, whiplash will disappear after three months. If left untreated, it can recur. To ensure that you heal totally from whiplash, chiropractic treatment or physical therapy can significantly help.
Lumbar strains and sprains can be another cause of back pain. The impact of rear-end collision can result in the tearing or overstretching of muscles, ligaments, and tendons in the lower back. In normal cases, the pain goes away within two weeks. Additional treatment will be required when the pain lasts longer than that period.
Tips for Managing Back Pain After a Car Accident
Even if you feel perfectly fine, make sure to get yourself checked. Back pains, especially when caused by whiplash, can be very tricky, even appearing within a few weeks. You might only realize how worse your condition is when you’ve already returned to your normal activities. It’s best to spend some months for treatment than live with the pain your whole life.
Get medical treatment as soon as possible. Never disregard your discomfort since any injuries from vehicular accidents might always seem non-consequential at first. However, these injuries can quickly get worse when not treated right away. Here are some ways you can treat back pain:
- See a Physical Therapist: Physical therapy can significantly reduce pain symptoms, improve strength and flexibility, enable mobility, and prevent long-term damage. Gentle physical activity helps you recover from injuries much more quickly than resting. However, both are vital after a car accident. You need to balance gentle exercise and rest. Car accident injuries, combined with wear and tear of the body, make auto accident victims need surgery later in life. However, physical therapy strengthens your vulnerable ligaments, tendons, and muscles; hence, protecting these structures.
- Apply Ice or Heat: To manage the pain, swelling, and bruising, ice or heat can help, depending on your preference. Apply ice packs for 15 minutes on the injured area. Avoid applying heat to the affected area in the first few days to avoid further bruising and swelling. When the swelling subsides, you can apply heat to soothe tightening muscles and improve blood flow, consequently reducing pain.
- Take Painkillers: Talk to your doctor first about how frequently you can take painkillers. Usually, your physician would recommend that you take more potent painkillers. Just remember that you should avoid driving when taking strong painkillers.
After a car accident, you shouldn’t just live with the pain. Keep in mind, neck and spinal injuries can spiral into more debilitating conditions in the long run if left unattended. Get medical help, contact your insurance provider, and work with a lawyer to receive what’s due to you.