Left untreated, there is a real possibility that the back pain caused by an auto accident could last into perpetuity. Of course, that would depend on the type, extent, and location of the injury in question.
When someone is involved in a “serious” car accident, there is a high degree of likelihood that they will suffer injuries, particularly back and neck injuries. It’s even possible that a minor “fender bender” could cause an injury like whiplash under the right circumstances.
The real downside to back and neck injuries is they tend to linger. That’s exactly why it is so vitally important for car accident victims to seek help if they start to experience back or neck pain, the sooner the better.
If the injury seems significant, it might be a good idea to see a medical doctor. In lesser cases, it would be quite acceptable to start addressing the car accident-related back pain by scheduling a visit with a reputable chiropractor.
Do car accident victims often end up with issues related to back pain?
According to stats accumulated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were more than 5,000,000 car accidents in 2020. That’s a big number.
So, what are the odds of you getting injured if you were in a car accident? According to the same data, there is a 43% chance that you would sustain an injury. It’s a good bet that the injury would be to the back or neck areas.
What are the Symptoms of Lower Back Pain?
During the initial days after being involved in a car accident, it’s entirely possible for an accident victim to not realizes they had actually sustained an injury. With adrenaline flowing and all the confusion, there are circumstances where accident victims’ bodies don’t immediately feel the pain. With that said, the pain will eventually come in there is an injury.
Here is a list of the potential symptoms related to lower back pain.
Discomfort or stiffness in the lower back
Muscles tend to stiffen up in an effort to protect a part of the body that is injured, causing discomfort and or stiffness. .
A decrease in range of motion in the lower back
It becomes difficult to bending the back backward and forwards as well as rotating the hips to the left or right.
Pain that runs down legs or into the buttocks
A condition called sciatica can cause pain in the buttocks and down the legs. The sciatic nerve is a nerve that runs through your spinal cord and then branches out into both legs. When pinched, it causes pain in the legs,
Problems with standing or walking for long periods of time
It becomes very painful to sit and stand in the same position for more than a few minutes at a time.
Pain that gets worse with any body movement or activity
As back pain worsens, there is a progression. Left untreated, the pain will slowly but surely get worse with every waking day.
Problems with bending or lifting objects
The lower back is the center of the body’s core. Pain will occur when trying to bend at the center of the core or when trying to lift heavy objects.
Pain that resides during periods of rest
Sometimes, the back pain is significant enough to cause discomfort even when sleeping or trying to get some rest.
Problems with Swelling or tenderness in the lower back
In the early days after the accident, there could be swelling in the back. The swelling can subsequently cause tenderness to the touch.
Weight loss due to loss of appetite
It’s very common for people who are experiencing lower back pain to lose their appetites, which could lead to weight loss over a long period.
Signs of chronic fatigue
It takes a lot of extra effort to move about when the body is not functioning properly. That’s why dealing with back pain could lead people to feel worn down,
Issues with bowel or bladder function
Bowels and bladder function are directly controlled by nerves. If there is back pain and issues with bowel and or bladder incontinence, the source of that pain is likely a pinched nerve or nerves in the lower spine.
Back pain can cause stress and muscle tension. Stress and muscle tension often cause headaches and chronic migraines.
Sharp pain the back
This one is self-explanatory. If someone is involved in an auto accident, there is a good chance they will start to experience sharp pain in their lower back or even neck.
You suffer weakness in your extremities
Much like sciatica, any kind of weakness in the arms and legs can likely be attributed to nerve issues caused by a spine injury.
Your pain seems to get worse, rather than better
Temporary pain is not really of much concern as it should be expected after a car accident. If the pain doesn’t subside and even worse, keeps progressing, it might be there is a serious back injury involved.
Your pain does not diminish
Again, back pain from a car accident is quite normal. If it never seems to diminish, it’s something that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.
You start having issues with symptoms of confusion or disorientation
Back pain after an accident can lead to headaches and lack of sleep, which can eventually lead to confusion or disorientation.
Problems occur your vision or hearing
When back pain gets unbearable, it can create issues with the senses, especially your vision and or hearing.
You start experiencing abdominal or chest pain
On the other side of the back are your abdomen and chest. Don’t be surprised if back pain manifests on the front side of your body.
You find yourself growing drowsy during the day
Again, lack of sleep and the drag of walking in pain can make someone drowsy.
How Long Might You Experience Pain or Discomfort After a Car Accident?
Sometimes, back pain that results from a car accident will be temporary. If the pain seems to continue and or worsens, there is a significant problem. If a significant problem in not treated, there is a good chance it would last forever.
What Are the Usual Causes of Lower Back Pain From Car Accidents?
A lot of things can happen as car metal is crashing. Here are some of the possible causes of pain from a car accident.
Injuries to Soft tissue
These are muscles and tendons in your back that can get strained or even torn.
Injuries to spinal disc
Discs are the spongy gel-filled masses that absorb shock between the vertebrae. When the spine suddenly compresses, it can cause a slipped or herniated disc.
Spine or Neck fractures
It’s possible that the back pain is being caused by a spine bone fracture on the neck or lower back. This would be considered a significant injury that could require medical attention.
Injuries to spinal joint
There are a lot of muscles and nerves surrounding spinal joints that can get damaged and cause pain.
Rib fractures called costochondritis
Rib fractures and symptoms of costochondritis can be mistaken for back-related pain.
Mild RBI to concussions
A hit to the head can cause pain due to a mild brain injury or a concussion.
What Are the Most Common Back Injuries People Get from Auto Accidents
Let’s take a look at the very specific back injuries people can sustain from a car accident.
Back sprains or strains
Jerking around of back muscles during a collision can cause tendon sprains or muscle strains.
This would be an actual fracture of bones that make up the spine.
Herniated or ruptured Discs
The violent compression of discs between the vertebrae can cause them to herniate or rupture.
Pain in the facet joint
The facet joint is the joint that connects two vertebrae. Pain can be caused if gets fractured or dislocated.
Vertebrae Fractures (lumbar or thoracic)
This would be the actual fracture of one or more of the vertebrae.
Condition called spondylolisthesis
A condition where one of the vertebrae gets dislodged.
Whiplash (neck injury)
An injury that is caused when the neck suddenly snaps back and then forward on impact.
Pain related to a damaged disc.
How to Deal With Lower Back Injuries After a Car Accident?
If you have suffered a lower back injury due to a car accident, here are some ways you can try to deal with the pain.
Regimen of rest, ice, and heat
A continual regimen of rest with the alternating application of ice and heating pads.
Many times, spine adjustments can relieve pain issues either temporarily or longer.
Massage therapeutic treatments
Soft tissue injuries often respond well to massage techniques.
Physical therapeutic treatments
Stretching and exercise programs can resolve pain issues and strengthen muscles.
Prescription Pain medication
Prescription pain medication offers a temporary source of pain relief.
Epidural shots can relieve pain issues for a couple of months at a time. Only three shots can be received in a given year.
How long does it take to feel back pain after a car accident?
Pain can be felt within minutes of involvement in a car accident.
How do I know if my back pain is from a car accident?
If you were in a car accident after which pain issues occurred, there is a good chance the back pain was caused by the accident.
How do you get rid of back pain after a car accident?
The least invasive options would be chiropractic care and or massage therapy. Surgery could be necessary if the source of the back pain were to be a significant back injury.
Why does my back still hurt after the accident?
It will likely keep hurting until you seek some form of treatment.
Back pain after a car accident when to see a doctor?
It’s a good idea to get a checkup from a doctor or chiropractor within a day or two after a car accident.
Back pain 3 weeks after a car accident?
It’s very possible some pain issues won’t appear until several weeks after the accident.
Lower back pain after car accident symptoms?
The symptoms of lower back pain include:
- Lower back stiffness
- Decreased range of motion in the back
- Sciatic pain in the legs
- Walking/standing problems
- Lower back tenderness
- Loss of appetite
- Chronic headaches
- Weakness in the extremities
Treatment for back pain after a car accident?
Some of the best back pain treatment options include:
- Chiropractic care
- Massage therapy
- Physical therapy
- Prescription pain medication
How long after a car accident can you feel back pain?
It’s very possible for car accident victims to start feeling pain right after impact. it’s also possible, the pain might not show for weeks.
Back pain 2 years after a car accident?
If you start experiencing back pain two years after being involved in an accident, it might be from an accident-related injury that has been getting progressively worse.