Apply heat or ice and take over the counter pain medications to help you feel more comfortable. Avoid activities that are painful. Most importantly, see a doctor as soon as possible. A doctor can identify the cause of your pain and prescribe the right treatment.
Back pain is a common issue after a car accident. Our spines are more delicate than you might think, and they weren’t built to withstand sudden, violent impacts. The impact from a car accident can injure your spine bones, or vertebrae, or the discs that cushion them. It can also cause sprains and strains in your muscles and ligaments. Some back injuries lead to severe, chronic pain, while others may require surgery.
How do car accidents cause back injuries?
The impact from a car accident thrusts your bodily suddenly forward, backward or sideways. Your seat belt keeps you anchored in your seat, but your head, neck and upper back will still move with the impact. This puts pressure on the spine—potentially stretching, tearing or compressing it—and leading to painful back injuries. Some of the more common injuries causing back pain include:
- Strains and sprains. The impact of an accident can cause you to pull, or “strain” the muscles in your back. Or you may tear or stretch your ligaments, leading to a lumbar sprain. These conditions are often marked by muscle spasms, cramps, and tenderness.
- Herniated discs. A herniated, or “slipped” disc occurs when one of the cushiony discs between your spinal vertebrae ruptures. The jellylike fluid inside the disk is squeezed out, putting pressure on the nerves around the spine.
- Spinal stenosis. This is when vertebrae become misaligned because of the impact from an accident. Sometimes a piece of bone breaks off. Spinal stenosis often leads to pain, numbness, weakness and cramps.
What should I do for my back pain?
Because back pain has many potential causes, it’s never a good idea to guess at what’s wrong or assume that it will go away on its own. You can actually make a back condition worse by neglecting it, and many injuries will heal faster if they are treated right away. Always see a doctor as soon as possible after any accident.
In the meantime, there are a few things you can do to relieve the pain and avoid aggravating your injury:
- Take over the counter pain medications. Medications like acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Aleve or Motrin) can help ease your pain and reduce inflammation.
- Apply ice or heat throughout the day. Doctors often prescribe ice for the first couple of days after an injury, to reduce swelling. After that, they usually recommend heat. Apply ice or heat for about 15 minutes, several times a day.
- Keep moving, but avoid activities that cause pain. Complete bed rest can leave you weaker, so it’s usually a good idea to continue with your normal routines, but avoid movements that make the pain worse.
Your doctor may ask you questions and order tests to get an accurate diagnosis. The doctor may prescribe additional medication or exercises, or send you to physical therapy. Always follow your doctor’s directions after any injury.
Should I talk to a lawyer?
Yes. If you were injured in an accident through no fault of your own, car accident lawyers in Atlanta Georgia can help you get money to pay for your injury. You are allowed to recover ALL of your costs, including medical bills, prescriptions, physical therapy and the pay you lost if you had to miss work. If your injuries are severe, you may get additional money for your pain and suffering or a disability.
It’s important to know that insurance companies won’t want to pay you what your claim is really worth. They’re more interested in making a profit for themselves. A lawyer puts an experienced professional on your team, helping you get the maximum possible recovery so you can work on rebuilding your life.
Talk to an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer for Free
Our law firm has just one goal: to help accident victims. We keep our fees affordable, never charging you money unless we get money for you. Let us give you a FREE consultation to answer your questions and tell you if you have a claim. There’s no obligation. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.