After getting into a vehicle accident, feeling sore in one or more parts of the body is expected. It is also common to get one’s back twitched during the collision and feel lower back pain after an accident. Most of the time, back pain goes away with some rest and over-the-counter painkillers. However, if this is not the case and you feel severe back pain after 2 weeks of the accident, this can be a sign of serious injury. In such a situation it becomes important to know the cause. In what follows, we will explain why you might be feeling back pain long after the accident and what could be done about it.
This article will provide you with a good understanding of lower back pain after an accident, its causes, and treatments. You can get a fair idea if your back pain is serious and what steps you can take further. However, for complete diagnosis and timely treatment, you should see a neurosurgeon.
You can see a neurosurgeon in Los Angeles by visiting Southern California Brain & Spine Surgery. Schedule an appointment by filling out the contact form or calling us at (213)-369 4583.
For a few days after the accident, you might not be able to differentiate your backache from your overall body ache as you will be feeling sore all over. With time, if the body ache recovers but the back pain doesn’t, it indicates there might be an injury to your back. Now, a minor injury to the back causing spasm or muscle pull is not very serious and can be cured with nonsurgical treatments. However, if the spine has been damaged in any way, it is a worrisome situation. But how could you know which one is the case? One way is to look for symptoms. A minor back injury has different symptoms from a spinal injury.
The neck and back are most likely to get injured in a car accident. What might seem like a little collision, has the chance of injuring your spine. There are many possible causes of back pain after an accident. It could be due to a traumatic injury, such as a herniated disc or spinal cord injury. Or, it could be the result of whiplash, which can damage the soft tissues in the neck and back.
Given below are some of the potential causes of lower back pain after an accident:
Whiplash refers to the back-and-forth motion. During a car accident, due to a collision, a person’s neck moves back and forth with force, causing injury to the neck. It is one of the most common injuries sustained during a vehicle accident. Normally, whiplash injuries the cervical spine only but if the collision is severe, the lower back can also get hurt to compensate for the overall effect. Depending upon the severity of the collision, the injury can be as minor as getting a neck sprain or as big as getting a herniated disc.
Slipped Disc or Herniated Disc
Our vertebrae are composed of several discs that are stacked over one another. Inside these discs is a soft jelly-like substance known as Nucleus Pulposus that works as a shock absorber for the spine. When the vertebrae sustain a serious injury during an accident, this jelly-like substance breaks the wall and protrudes from the disc. This creates a bulge that can lead to compression of spinal nerves causing pain to the person.
People of age or with medical conditions like osteoporosis can suffer vertebral fractures due to an accident. This can also be one of the causes of lower back pain after an accident. If the fracture is minor, you might not feel much pain but a little crack can always turn into a major fracture. And therefore it is always recommended to have X-ray scans after an accident.
Sprains and Strains
These are comparatively less serious conditions and can be treated with conservative methods. Strains and sprains occur when excessive stress is exerted on the back muscle. In the worst cases, a person might tear his muscle or ligament.
Injury to Facet Joints
The facet joints are joints in the spine located in the back of the spine (also known as the posterior side). There are facet joints at each vertebral level, one on each side of the spine. These joints, if healthy, glide and slide over one another as a person moves his back and prevent over-twisting. High-impact vehicle collisions can damage these joints making it hard for a person to do his daily activities.
As discussed above, if the cause of the back pain is diagnosed to be minor, conservative treatments will suffice. These include;
In case of serious injuries to the spine, surgical treatment is given to the patient. Different surgical methods can be used to treat lower back pain after an accident caused by serious injury;