The structure of your spine is complex and delicate. Your spine is not made to withstand the impact of a car accident. Back injuries are one of the most common injuries sustained in a car accident. The impact strains your ligaments and muscles and your joints suffer from most of the force. This can result in several injuries, including disc herniation, whiplash, spondylolisthesis, and compression fractures. Having the right knowledge about spine injuries can help you recognize an injury so you know what to do when you suffer from a car accident.
If you or someone else you know is in a car accident it is important to be able to spot the symptoms of these injuries. Some back injuries can be made worse if the person who is injured moves. Even a low-speed car accident can cause back pain. Regardless of the type of car accident you should seek help from your local chiropractor. A muscle strain may heal on its own, but if your back is suffering from pain it can be from a more serious injury. If a back injury goes ignored you could suffer from pain for months or even years later.
Spotting an Injury
How can you tell if back pain is a muscle strain or a more serious injury? Most likely, you won’t know for certain until you are evaluated by a chiropractor, but there are some key symptoms that may help you determine if medical help is required. Here at Advanced Health and Chiropractic we like to keep our patients informed and that is why we are going to review some of the symptoms of common back injuries caused in car accidents.
When in a car accident your discs absorb most of the impact to the spine. That is why it is possible for them do herniate during a car accident. A herniated disc is when the soft center of the disc pushed through the small crack in the disc’s exterior, causing irritation to the surrounding nerves. Some people may not experience any symptoms with herniated discs, others may experience pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness in their arms or legs depending on the location of the herniated disc.
During an accident compression fractures in the thoracic and lumbar spine, also known as the middle and lower back, are common. The upper body may be thrown forward while the lower body is held in place by your seatbelt during impact, pulling your vertebrae apart. Spinal fractures can cause spinal cord injuries as the broken vertebrae move out of place. Moderate to severe back pain that gets worse with movement is the main symptom of a spinal fracture. If your spinal cord has been affected you may suffer from tingling, numbness, loss of bladder or bowl control, and weakness. Moving with a spinal fracture can cause further damage.
Spondylolisthesis occurs when you’re a vertebra shifts out of place because of a stress fracture in your bone. The displaced bone can cause pain, numbness or weakness in your buttock or leg by pressing on the nerves or narrow the spinal canal. Some people do not experience the symptoms of spondylolisthesis until years after the accident.
Whiplash is more than a comic book character your see on tv. Whiplash is when the force from impact suddenly pushes your head backward and then forward, similar to the motion of using a whip. Whiplash is more common in rear-end collisions than front-end collisions. Symptoms of whiplash can appear within 24 hours of the car accident and may include headaches that formulate at the base of the skull, dizziness, blurred vision, pain and stiffness in the neck and back, and fatigue.
What to Do if You Have a Spinal Injury
If you are experiencing any back pain after being in a car accident in Idaho Falls, you should schedule an appointment with your local chiropractor. Chiropractors, like the ones at Advanced Health and Chiropractic in Idaho Falls, can rule out any serious injuries. They can also determine the best procedures necessary to relieve any pain you may be suffering.
Your chiropractor may even prescribe you with a back brace to help negate any additional damage and pain without having to go through any surgical procedures.
If you were just in an accident and are not sure if your back has been injured contact Advanced Health and Chiropractic in Idaho Falls today! Our professional and friendly staff can help you get back on your feet in no time.