The body keeps moving when a car is hit until something stops it. A seat belt, airbag, steering wheel, or windshield can suddenly stop you from driving. In the worst case, the body stops when it hits the ground.
Vigorous movement can cause sprain, fracture, or seriously injure many body parts, especially those that affect the neck, spinal cord, and back. Injuries from the frontal, rear and side impacts are expected. However, even minor accidents can affect mobility.
A car accident can affect the lumbar (lower back), thoracic (upper back), and cervical (neck) spine. Each region consists of tissues, nerves, ligaments, bones, tendons, and muscles that extend from the neck to the pelvis.
With 33 vertebrae spinal bones, 31 nerve roots, and 32 muscles in the neck and back, any injury has long-lasting effects. The most common back injury affects the lumbar spine. The lumbar spine has five vertebrae. A soft intervertebral disc with a soft core and a tough outer ring lies between each vertebra.
Injuries to the thorax are less common because of its rigid structure, but they are more serious because the upper back connects to the ribs and chest area. When one or more of the 12 vertebrae are injured, it can affect breathing, cause nerve damage, and cause chronic pain.
Some injuries such as soft tissue injuries may not appear immediately. Immediate medical attention can rule out serious problems and reduce recovery time after a car accident.
Back injury symptoms after a car accident:
- Tingling or numbness
- Discomfort when standing or walking
- Sharp pain
- Burning pain
- Muscle spasms
Common back injury from a car accident:
- Degenerative spinal disorders
- Discogenic pain
- Facet joint injuries
- Herniated discs
- Back sprains and strains
WHAT TO DO FOR BACK PAIN AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT?
After a car accident, it is vital to seek medical attention. Even if you don’t need to go to the emergency room after an accident, you should make an appointment with an orthopedic specialist immediately. This allows you to rule out potential problems and clarify everything before attempting activities that could create problematic conditions.
For example, carrying laundry up the stairs or carrying a small child can make the pain worse after a car accident. As the problem worsens, recovery time may increase or more damage may occur. Your doctor may ask for an X-ray or MRI to determine if there is disc damage or degeneration, followed by a discography to find the specific problem disc. They can take a closer look at your injury, assess your mobility limitations, and suggest possible treatments.
Specialty Care Clinics treat all types of back pain conditions caused by car accidents, our experienced doctors give quality treatments and help you speed up the recovery process. Call us at 469-545-9983 to book an appointment.
Home Remedies: If you can’t find a health care provider right away, home remedies are available to provide the necessary pain relief for back pain after a car accident.
Heat reduces stiffness, improves tissue flexibility, and increases blood flow to injured tissue. Heat packs, heat pads, paraffin baths, jacuzzis, or saunas are examples of how heat can be used to relieve pain. We generally recommend at least 30 minutes of rest after a 30-minute treatment. Massage therapy can also help improve spinal pain and range of motion after a car accident. Massage therapy relieves muscle tension, relieves pain, and improves blood circulation. Theracane, at-home massagers, or massages are good ways to relax.
Home Exercise: Low-impact training can help reduce back pain and improve mood after a car accident. Low-impact exercise can reduce acute and chronic pain in the long term. Exercise reduces joint stiffness, increases strength, and lubricates joints. Walking, pool exercises, tai chi, and yoga are good physical exercises for reducing pain and improving function.
Physical therapy: Physical therapy under the direction of a licensed therapist can help relieve back pain following a car accident. Physical therapy can often help stretch and strengthen injured back muscles and soft tissues. Physical therapy helps restore lost movement and function in a structured and safe environment, shortening healing and recovery times.
Chiropractic Care: Acute and subacute pain can be effectively treated with chiropractic therapy and spine manipulation. Chiropractic therapy can aid in spinal segment realignment and restores natural mobility. Headaches from an auto accident can also be effectively treated with spinal manipulation.
Medications: Following an auto accident, back injuries may be treated with medication. To speed up healing and provide comfort, these medicines are frequently combined with other therapy and injections.
Ibuprofen, Mobic, or Celebrex are a few examples of anti-inflammatory drugs that may be used to reduce swelling and tissue inflammation after injury.
After suffering a back injury, medicines for muscle spasms such as Flexeril, Baclofen, and Tizanidine can aid to increase the range of motion and help improve sleep.
Medications for nerve pain, such as Gabapentin, Lyrica, or Topamax, are frequently used to reduce the abnormal activity of nerves following an injury. These medications can help with headaches and/or discomfort from pinched nerves.
Surgery: In some cases, a surgeon’s expertise is required to determine whether surgical intervention is necessary. Surgery is usually required when patients have structural defects that cause neurological deficits. Examples of deficits are muscle weakness and sensory loss. Surgery is also offered when the spine is no longer structurally sound and there is a risk of loss of stability or damage to the spinal cord or nerves. Finally, surgery may be considered if the pain persists after trying the treatments, and pain relievers mentioned above.
Our doctors carefully treat back pain after a car accident, for better recovery visit us, we also schedule a same-day appointment, call us at 469-545-9983.