Is It Normal to Have Back Pain After a Car Accident?
People commonly suffer back pain after a car accident. This type of injury can occur for many different reasons and affect people in unique ways. The severity of the back pain can depend on the person’s medical history, physical condition and other factors.
Through the years, our auto-accident attorneys at Englander Peebles have worked with clients who suffered a broad range of injuries in car accidents, including back pain. We understand how this injury can wreak havoc on a person’s life, and we fight insurance companies that try to down play the severity of back pain. If you suffer back pain after a car accident in Florida, contact us to discuss your case.
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Common Back and Neck Injuries in Auto Accidents
Among some of the more common back and neck injuries, whiplash is perhaps the most common. Whiplash occurs when the head shakes back and forth quickly on the neck. This can lead to small tears in the muscle and soft-tissue of the neck. Likewise, it can lead to headaches, dizziness, muscle cramps to the shoulders, neck and upper back, loss of mobility, restricted range of motion and more. A whiplash injury is certainly not to be taken lightly. Nevertheless, there are plenty of other very serious back injuries that happen in car accidents. Consider just a few:
- Lumbar sprain – A sprain or strain injury occurs when a ligament or other soft tissue in the lower back gets violently stretched or even torn. Typically, these injuries heal. However, until they do, they can be painful and irritating. A lumbar sprain may seem like it will never go away. Even when it seems to get better, it may only flare up again. Treatment can include chiropractic care, physical therapy, hot and cold packs, rest, anti-inflammatory medication, muscle relaxers and traditional painkillers.
- Spinal stenosis – Stenosis occurs when there is a narrowing of the space between vertebrae. It can lead to pinched nerves. Some people can go years with spinal stenosis and never notice it. Others may immediately feel the pain. This often is due to years of chronic damage. A car accident can make the condition worse. If a person suffers a herniated disc in a car crash, it may lead to stenosis.
- Disc herniation – A herniation occurs when the soft cushions between the vertebrae, or discs, rupture or bulge. If nerves are pinched, it can be highly painful. Bulging or herniated discs can often be treated with pain management, medication or steroid injections that reduce the pain. Many patients require surgical intervention to resolve their bulging or herniated discs.
- Degenerative spinal disorders – While no one likes to admit it, bodies break down as they age. Arthritis or joint disease can cause people to live in constant, nagging pain. An auto accident can quickly aggravate the underlying condition.
Diagnosing and Treating Back Pain After A Car Accident
Because of the nature of auto accidents, your first medical care after the crash is usually an ambulance ride or trip to the emergency room. After you are stabilized, you should speak with a doctor who is familiar with back problems such as an orthopedist. To diagnose a back injury, a doctor usually will go through three stages:
- Conservative care – Typically, doctors will order X-rays if you go to the emergency room. A doctor will want to make sure that you had no major fractures or other injuries that may be life-threatening. Once you see an orthopedist, you may be instructed to go through some form of conservative care such as physical therapy with a therapist or exercises which you can perform at home. If this less invasive form of treatment works, then you can avoid a great deal of medical expenses.
- MRI or CT scan – If your back pain does not respond well to physical therapy, you will probably be sent for higher level imaging and diagnostics tests. These tests will help a doctor to rule out certain conditions and arrive at a diagnosis. A doctor should be able to recognize the symptoms of a serious back condition such as stenosis or disc herniation.
- Surgery/other options – If your MRI or CT scan does not show signs of any permanent or serious problems, it may be that you just need to try different physical therapy, lose some weight, get in shape or undergo a longer term of therapy. If, on the other hand, doctors are able to identify a more serious injury, then you will need to consider all your options, which may include undergoing surgery in order to address the issue.
How Can Our Florida Car Accident Attorneys Help You?
While attorneys usually defer to the doctors on all matters of medicine, a lawyer can be very helpful in connecting you with the right physicians who can treat your injury. Also, an attorney can make sure that the insurance company is aware of your injury and knows that you are represented by a law firm that knows how to establish a case and take it before a jury.
At Englander Peebles, we can help with many aspects of your injury claim, including gathering evidence, documenting your damages and negotiating a settlement. We are also excellent at keeping our clients informed at every stage in their case. We believe that our clients deserve the highest level of service. Because your case is important to you, you can be assured that it will be treated with the highest level of care and attention by our attorneys and staff members.
If you were hurt in a car accident in Florida, don’t just wonder about your options or wait too long to take action. Englander Peebles has offices located in Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton and Miami. We can provide a free and timely consultation about your case, with no strings attached. If we represent you, then you will pay no legal fees unless we secure compensation for you. Call or reach us online today to learn more and get started on your case.
At Englander Peebles, we understand the pressure people face when they are seriously hurt in an accident and are facing off against a large insurance company. As the bills mount, so does the stress. And the most frustrating part is that you can be victimized a second time if the insurance company refuses to pay in full, putting your financial future in jeopardy.