Common Neck and Back Injuries in a Car Accident
Sustaining an injury in a car accident can have a huge impact on the way you live the rest of your life. Even in a minor fender bender, whiplash or damage done to soft tissue in the neck and back may relegate you to a lifetime of chiropractic treatments, the need for prescription painkillers or frequent migraines.
One of the most underestimated car accident injuries is whiplash, or whiplash associated disorder (WAS). Because it’s not obvious to the naked eye, claiming whiplash sometimes appears unfairly a condition exaggerated by the victim.
The truth is, the spine and the muscles, ligaments, tendons and other soft tissues that surround it are complex and delicate structures. If trauma in the form of excessive force, or energy, is done to these sensitive structures, irreparable harm can be done.
In a car accident, damage can happen to the neck or cervical, thoracic and lumbar vertebrae of the spine. Two of the most common injuries incurred in auto crashes include slipped or bulging discs and whiplash.
Between every vertebra lays discs meant to act as cushions for these small bones. They specifically articulate during everyday human movements, such as standing, walking, or even sitting. When vertebrae strain under the force of a car accident, those discs can slip. Or, they become so compressed that they will begin to bulge out from small openings in the vertebra.
Whiplash happens when a crash forces the head and neck to move forward and backward very quickly and forcefully. This causes the tendons and/ or ligaments to become overstretched. Whiplash or WAS can impact a victim to varying degrees, and sometimes takes days or even weeks to show symptoms.
The result of both of these very common incidents is pain and a host of associated side effects. Those issues may be temporary, but for many they persist for years, maybe even for the remainder of their lives.