Back and Neck Injuries After a Car Accident

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Injuries to your neck and back are common after a car accident, but the symptoms and damage may not appear right away. In fact, it could take several days, or even weeks for pain in your neck or back to develop. This can cause problems in your car accident case because you may think you are fine, when in reality you are seriously injured.

If you have injured your neck or back in a car accident, contact Scott J. Sternberg & Associates in West Palm Beach to discuss your case.

Your Spine: The Basics

Back and Neck InjuriesThe spine must be flexible yet strong to be functional—it is a delicate balance. Force or trauma can seriously impair your neck or back, causing a range of health problems. The spine is a collection of bones, muscles, discs, and ligaments that reach from your neck to your tailbone. Each element has an important role to play within your back and neck.

The spinal column is also filled and surrounded by nerves. If one piece becomes damaged, moves out of place, or is otherwise altered, then severe pain can result.

The bones in the neck and back are called vertebrae, and they are small sections of the back that give you support. Each vertebra is surrounded by discs on either side. These discs provide a cushion between the bone so you can bend without having the bones rub together.

There are also two joints toward the back of the vertebrae that make it possible to bend smoothly up to a certain limitation in every direction. The muscles and ligaments that surround the vertebrae provide further support and flexibility.

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Why Are Neck and Pain Injuries So Common After a Car Accident?

Scientists and researchers still are not completely sure why the neck and back tend to hurt days or weeks after an injury. If there are no broken or misplaced bones, inflammation or strain is the most likely cause.

This type of injury is relatively common after a car accident because the neck and back are usually exposed to blunt force, repaid extension and contraction, or unusual pressure. This can cause stiffness, pain, and limited range of motion.

Types of Neck and Back Pain After a Car Accident

Pain tends to originate around the joints toward the back of the vertebrae (the facet joints). This pain is usually at the back of the neck, and on the sides. You will likely be able to feel a “deep” pain as well as a surface pain.

Unfortunately, x-rays and other tests cannot pick up pain that originates from this area because there is no break or otherwise visible damage.

Another common problem is Back and Neck Injuries to the discs between the vertebrae. If these discs are not properly in place, then the bones could rub together. This not only causes pain, it can also limit movement.

Each disc has a “wall” around it called the annulus, which is made up of fibers. These fibers can tear, which can also eventually lead to problems with disc degeneration. This problem is commonly referred to as a herniated disc, bulging disc, protruding disc, or ruptured disc.

Virtually any neck or back pain can also lead to problems in the nerves, including pinched nerves and nerve compression. Nerve problems after a car accident can manifest themselves almost anywhere in the body, but pain at the area of the nerve damage and in the arms or legs is relatively common.

Other neck and back problems may include:

  • Neck fracture
  • Cervical dislocation
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Whiplash
  • Neck sprain
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Radiating pain down or up the arms
  • Arthritis of the neck
  • Bone spurs

Getting Help with Back and Neck Injuries After an Accident

If you have been involved in a car accident and are experiencing back and neck injuries, see a medical professional as soon as possible. Although you may seem fine on the surface, internal problems are relatively common after a car accident.

Then, call the experienced personal injury lawyer at Scott J. Sternberg & Associates to discuss your legal options. We meet with clients who have neck and back pain on a regular basis, and we can help you get the compensation you deserve after a car accident.

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