What a Pain: Lower Back & Neck Pain After a Car Crash
All too often, when you’re in a car accident, the damage isn’t just limited to your vehicle. Even low-speed collisions and small fender benders can have a significant impact on your body, leaving you to suffer from persistent pain or mobility issues.
Lower back and neck pain injuries are some of the most common injuries reported after a collision. And oftentimes they may not even appear until days or even weeks after an accident. Our injury lawyers explain why car crashes impact these areas so much and why it’s imperative that you seek medical attention – even if you don’t feel in pain right away.
Always Seek Medical Attention After an Accident
Not all car accidents involve broken bones, blood, stitches, or other alarming injuries that require immediate medical attention. Most people that are involved in minor car accidents—ones where they can walk away from the accident with just minor aches or bruises—feel they do not need to see a doctor.
Even a minor collision with a stationary object can produce sudden, jarring, and jerking impacts on your neck and joints. Most often this leads to whiplash, which can appear within hours to several days after the accident. If not properly treated, the pain can become chronic causing potential life-long limitations.
When you are working with insurance to treat your symptoms and cover medical expenses you only have 14 days, per Florida law, to seek medical attention. The earlier you do, the easier it will be to prove that your sustained injuries are related to the car accident and not something else. This only helps to strengthen your personal injury case. Do not delay medical attention, even if your injuries are delayed.
Dealing with Delayed Injuries
We’re not doctors, but we know that the human body is complicated. No two injuries are exactly alike. This explains why some people handle pain differently and how some injuries may not appear right away.
But why would your injuries be delayed? There are two good explanations. First is the human body’s natural ‘Fight or Flight’ response. During a stressful event, like a car accident, adrenaline is released into your bloodstream to help your body “fight” the situation. During this time your pain tolerance may be higher and you may not notice your injuries until your adrenaline level returns to normal.
Second, it can take hours or days for external injuries such as swelling or bruising to appear and for inflammation to set in. When it does you can be left in severe pain that can cause you to not be able to function or work as you usually would.
Common Car Crash Injuries
We all know lower back and neck pain can be extremely painful and debilitating. The majority of pain resulting from a car accident is the result of a whipping motion that is caused by the force of the car’s impact. Whiplash can vary from minor to severe, but whiplash is the cause of the injury, not a specific medical diagnosis.
These are other common back and neck injuries that result from car accidents:
- Herniated or slipped disc injury
- Lumbar sprains
- Lumbar spine injuries
- Traumatic spinal stenosis
- Thoracic spine injuries
- Facet joint injuries
Treatment for Lower Back and Neck Pain
You should always consult with your doctor before trying any at-home treatments. Without knowing the full extent and damage to your body, it is important to not diagnose and treat yourself.
Depending on the severity of your injuries, most doctors will likely recommend these common treatments for lower back & neck pain following a car accident:
- Hot or cold packs
- Movement/activity > inactivity can make the pain worsen as your joints become stiff and/or immobile
- Exercises that focus on strengthening
- Physical therapy
- Chiropractic care (spinal manipulation)
- Nerve block therapies
- Epidural steroid injections
Depending on the type of treatment your doctor recommends, it can become a burden, not only financially, but also physically, mentally, and emotionally. Again, if you choose not to seek treatment within the first 14 days after your car accident, you will lose your ability to seek medical compensation as part of your personal injury claim.
Call Our Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers
At Mickey Keenan Injury Law, we understand that a car accident can turn your life upside down. We are committed to pursuing your personal injury claim to obtain just compensation for your pain and suffering.
If you are experiencing any neck or back pain after a car accident, we will work with you to find the right doctor to help you begin to heal, as well as help you to recover all costs and expenses you have endured due to your car crash, ranging from medical bills to lost wages, to property damage.