Car accidents can often result in property damage and serious physical injuries, including back injuries.
Back injuries are a common injury suffered in car accidents. Even a minor back injury can have an adverse effect on a person’s ability to perform routine activities.
Types of Back Injuries
The spine is divided into three parts:
- cervical vertebrae
- thoracic vertebrae
- lumbar vertebrae
These sections and their vertebrae are surrounded by muscles, discs, ligaments, tendons, and nerves. Depending on the part injured, the person may suffer pain ranging from mild to debilitating.
Common Back Injuries
- Thoracic spine injuries: These injuries are the most serious of all back injuries. The upper back or thoracic spine connects the chest region to the ribs. Fractures and sprains in this area are caused by high speed accidents and often lead to permanent nerve damage.
- Lumbar spine injuries: This area of the spine consists of the strongest of muscles and the largest vertebrae that provide stability to the spine. Strain and sprain to the lumbar spine can be extremely painful. A strain means stretching of the tendons, ligaments, and muscles, and a sprain involves damage to the ligaments. Lumbar spine injuries cause swelling, bruising, tenderness, limited movement, and impact a person’s ability to perform daily activities.
- Herniated discs: Spinal discs are the cushions between the vertebrae and their job is to protect the spine. When the disc is displaced, the person suffers a herniated disc. The herniated disc then puts pressure on the spine and the nerves surrounding it. The person may experience intense pain in the lower back and may also experience numbness in the legs.
- Spinal cord injuries: These are among the most debilitating of back injuries and range from mild bruising to permanent damage to the spine and surrounding nerves. Spinal cord injuries often lead to long-term disability, partial or total paralysis, loss of reflex action, and loss of sensation in certain areas. The person may also experience other problems such as infections, bleeding, pneumonia, spinal fluid leaks, and blood clots.
Treatment of Back Injuries
Doctors will diagnose a back injury and determine its severity using X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, and bone scans. Minor back injuries may require temporary and short-term treatment including anti-inflammatory injections, pain medication, and physical therapy. However, serious back injuries usually require surgical treatment to reduce the pressure on the spine and the surrounding nerves. Surgery may be performed to fuse the vertebrae or removing parts of the vertebrae.
Chicago Car Accident Lawyers
If you have suffered a back injury in a car accident caused by another driver’s fault, you may claim compensation for your losses and pain and suffering from the person at-fault. Contact a Chicago car accident attorney from The Willens Law Offices at (312) 957-4166 for a free consultation.