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Answers About Back Pain Following Car Accidents

Accident injuries vary by the type of impact (rear-end, head-on, side impact) severity of impact, angle of impact, and movement of the vehicle and its occupants at the time of impact and immediately thereafter. No two motor vehicle collisions are the same and the effects that any particular motor vehicle collision has on the occupants of the vehicles vary and must be taken on an individual case by case basis.

Low back pain following a motor vehicle collision can arise from a multitude of injuries or micro-injuries to the various tissues that make up the human anatomy. The various structures involved can include bones, tendons, ligaments, muscles, nerves, and the various components of an intervertebral disc including the annulus fibrosis and/or the nucleus pulpous. Sometimes the onset of symptoms is immediate, other times they merge over days, weeks, or in some cases up to a year or more.

Starting with the most simple of injuries to the low back after motor vehicle collision, the patient will experience low back pain, decreased range of motion, and swelling which will all result in the patient being uncomfortable and being unable to move the lower extremities and the low back (i.e. walk, bend down, sit comfortably) as a result. What happens in a collision is that the human body is abruptly caused to move in the direction of one or more forces, sometimes multiple forces. This can cause fractures to bones, a sheering of the intervertebral discs in between the bony vertebra, a tearing of the muscles, tendons, ligaments or nerves, or stretching of those structures. Sometimes, the injuries to the various structures, are extremely severe and require nearly immediate surgical intervention.

After feeling stiffness, pain and a decreased range of motion, the pain may worsen over the next day or two. An emergency room visit or a prompt visit to a family doctor is usually in order. Doctors will usually, as a first line of treatment, and depending on the symptoms, order an x-ray of the involved area to make certain there are no fractures to the bony structures. Once fractures to the bony structures has been ruled out, a physician will usually prescribe a course of conservative treatment which sometimes will alleviate the pain over the course of four to six weeks. These conservative treatments include analgesics like ibuprofen, or Vicodin, and anti-inflammatories such as Flexoral or Naperson. These medications are designed to lessen the pain and to improve range of motion by reducing spasming.

For further questions about Chicago car accident injury or to seek compensation for low back and other injuries caused by the negligence of others, please do not hesitate to contact us.