According to the Cleveland Clinic, a non-profit academic medical center and leader in research, education and health information, the human back and spine is made up of a complex system of bones, muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments and nerves. It also houses the spinal cord, one of the most delicate and vulnerable structures in the human body. Injury to any one of these components can cause severe back pain, weakness, and disability.
What to Look For in the Case of Injury
Unfortunately, sustaining a back injury in a motor vehicle accident is common. This is due to the fact that upon impact, the back often sustains the majority of the force and pressure caused by the collision. Most back pain should dissipate within 72 hours after applying ice and resting. If pain persists, increases, or suddenly begins, that might be cause for concern. According to the Cleveland Clinic, some of the symptoms to look out for are:
- Sharp pain rather than a dull ache. This could indicate a torn muscle or ligament, or a problem with an internal organ in the back or side.
- Radiating pain that “moves” or shoots to the glutes or legs, which could indicate a nerve compression condition.
- Sudden weakness in the legs. Limb weakness can be caused by compressed nerves in the spine due to conditions like sciatica or spinal stenosis.
- Difficulty standing or walking.
- Numbness or tingling in arms, hands, legs, or feet.
Any one or combination of these symptoms may be caused by a variety of injuries including whiplash, soft tissue injury, a herniated disc, fractures or spinal cord injury. Treatment may include a combination of surgical intervention, physical therapy, chiropractic care and pain management.
Seeking Medical Treatment
You should always consult with a medical specialist immediately after an accident. Oftentimes, an injury may not be present right away, and may develop days after the accident. Getting the medical attention you need in a timely fashion may avoid chronic pain and disability in the future. Contact Injured 914 today if you have been injured and want legal representation.