Auto accidents, and the force that accompanies them, can be very hard on the neck and back. This is true even with lower impact accidents that happen at reduced speeds, such as rear-end collisions. A lower impact rear-end accident, also commonly known as a “fender-bender”, typically does minor damage to the vehicle. But even when there is minimal property damage, you may still end up with injuries that are more than just a minor inconvenience.
Neck and back injuries are not always immediately apparent after a car crash. Sometimes, it can take several hours or even a few days before you start to feel the effects of the crash. This is largely due to the adrenaline rush those involved in an accident typically experience. After the crash, your heart rate increases, and your mind starts going in different directions as you focus on dealing with the situation. The adrenaline often masks the pain associated with various injuries, which can deceive people into believing that they were not really hurt by the accident.
Reasons for Neck and Back Pain after a Vehicle Crash
After some time passes following a car crash, the pain of neck and back injuries eventually shows up. This is often the sign of a condition known as “whiplash”. The sudden, jerking motion of a vehicle crash, even one that occurs at a low speed, can throw the body rapidly back and forth, similarly to the motion of a horse whip.
Whiplash injuries are especially common in rear-end crashes, and occupants of the lead vehicle are the most susceptible to this type of injury, because they are usually not able to brace for the collision.
A whiplash injury can also vary in severity, depending on the specific circumstances of the accident, such as the speed in which the vehicles collided, the angle at which the collision occurred, the position of the drivers and passengers who were hurt, and many others. In some cases, the effects of the injury are fairly minor and will only be felt for a couple weeks or so. In other cases, however, the effects of the injury can last for several months or even years.
Whiplash is a severe sprain or strain in the neck that produces general neck and back pain. Other symptoms of this condition may include:
- Neck stiffness;
- Limited range of motion in the neck;
- Increased pain with neck movement;
- Severe headaches;
- Dizziness or blurred vision;
- Numbness or tingling in the arms;
- Pain or tenderness in the shoulders, arms, and upper back;
- Lower back pain;
- Difficulty with focus and concentration;
- Muscle spasms;
- Tiredness and fatigue;
- Anxiety and depression.
Whiplash is one possible cause of neck and back pain after a car crash, but this type of pain could also be an indication of another condition, such as:
- Spinal cord injury (SCI)
- Herniated disc
- Thoracic spine injury
- Lumbar spine injury
What to Do if you are Feeling Neck and Back Pain from a Car Crash
If you are experiencing neck or back pain or any other type of physical pain after a motor vehicle accident, this is not something to be taken lightly. If you ignore the pain, it will probably not go away on its own. If anything, it is likely to become worse over time and possibly even become permanent and irreparable. As soon as you feel any symptoms at all, it is important to seek immediate medical attention. The sooner you see a medical professional, the sooner you can get an accurate diagnosis and ensure that your condition is properly treated.
Another reason you want to get medical help is to help establish a legal connection between the auto accident and your injuries. If the accident was the fault of another party, you may have the right to compensation. However, if you wait too long, the responsible party and their insurance company will likely claim that the injury is not from the accident and/or you did not do everything you could to minimize the effects of your injury. So, get immediate medical help, then get in touch with a skilled car accident lawyer to discuss your legal options.
Experienced Neck or Back Pain after an Auto Accident? Contact the Experienced Alabama Personal Injury Attorneys at M. Adam Jones and Associates
If you were injured in a vehicle crash in Alabama, call M. Adam Jones and Associates at 334-581-9238 for a free consultation. We will meet with you to fully assess your case and advise you of your rights and options. You may also message us through our online contact form or stop by our Dothan, AL office in person at your convenience.