Since a serious injury could be causing neck and lower back pain after a car accident, you should never ignore it. If you are at the scene of the wreck and cannot safely drive yourself for medical assistance, call 911 for an ambulance or have someone drive you to the hospital. If you can transport yourself, you should go to an emergency room, urgent care center, or your doctor, depending on the severity of your symptoms.
If you injured your neck or back in a car wreck, the attorneys at Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. can help you file an insurance claim for compensation. Call us today at 631-600-0000 to schedule your free consultation.
What Can Cause My Neck and Lower Back to Hurt After a Car Crash?
If you have pain in your neck and lower back, you might have a herniated disc. A herniated disc, sometimes called a slipped or ruptured disc happens when trauma forces the jelly-like contents of one or more of the discs between the bones in your spine (vertebrae) to leak out through a tear in the disc. The discs serve as cushions, similar to shock absorbers, between the vertebrae. Your discs have a strong exterior protecting a gel-like substance inside the disc.
If you have an injury to a disc, the Mayo Clinic says you might feel pain in your shoulder, arm, leg, or neck. You can also have shooting pain when you move suddenly, such as when you cough or sneeze. The Mayo Clinic advises that you should get medical attention if you have pain in your neck or back with numbness, tingling, weakness, or pain going down your arm or leg. You should get emergency medical help if your symptoms become worse, you have bladder or bowel dysfunction, or you have loss of sensation in the areas that would touch a saddle if you were riding (called saddle anesthesia).
Spinal Cord Injury
Pain in your neck or lower back can be a symptom of a spinal cord injury. Spinal cord injury symptoms include:
- Severe pain or pressure in your back, neck, or head
- Paralysis, weakness, or lack of coordination anywhere in your body
- Sensation changes, like numbness, tingling, or loss of feeling in fingers, toes, hands, or feet
- Struggling to stand, balance, or walk
- Difficulty breathing
- Twisting or unusual position of the neck or back
- Loss of control of the bladder or bowels
You should call 911 for an ambulance if you suspect that you or someone else has a spinal cord injury. Do not try to move, unless you are in a dangerous location because movement can exacerbate a spinal cord injury, leading to paralysis or death.
Other Back Injury
After a thorough examination by healthcare professionals, they might tell you that you have a sprain, strain, or another minor back injury.They might recommend that you should rest for a few days or longer and see if your injury improves on its own. Some minor back injuries can heal with conservative treatment like rest in conjunction with anti-inflammatory medications, muscle relaxers, and painkillers.
The Mayo Clinic says you should call your doctor if:
- Your pain is not better after a week of conservative treatment
- You have severe or constant pain
- Your pain worsens at night or when you are lying down
- There is redness or swelling onyour back
- You are losing weight without intending to
- Your pain goes down one or both legs
- You experience numbness, tingling, or loss of strength in either leg
You should get emergency medical help, according to the Mayo Clinic, whenever you have back pain after a high-impact car crash. You should either go to the emergency room by calling 911 for an ambulance or have someone drive you to the hospital. If you are treating your back injury at home and you develop a fever or bowel or bladder control issues, get to the emergency room either by ambulance or by having someone drive you there.
What Should I Do If Only My Neck Hurts?
If only your neck hurts, you might have a neck sprain, strain, or whiplash. You should see your doctor right away to determine exactly what the problem is and to start you on the appropriate treatment. If your injury is severe, seek emergency medical treatment.
When Should I Go to The Doctor?
Do not delay. If you do not get medical attention right away, your condition might worsen. Also, it can be harder to prove that your injury came from the car accident if you do not get immediate medical attention. Make sure that you tell your doctor and whoever treats you for your condition that you were in a crash, and have them write that fact in their intake notes in the section for your medical history and the reason why you are seeing them.
If you have suffered injury from a wreck that was not your fault, call Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. at 631-600-0000 to line up your free claim analysis and consultation.