Everyday, there is an auto accident in Denver. Although many accidents are minor, some can cause serious injuries including low back pain and cervical spine damage. What are these injuries and how can they be treated? Here’s what you need to know:
Cervical Spine Injuries
Any part of the spinal cord can be damaged in an auto accident, but the cervical spine, which is the neck, is at the greatest risk. This part of the spinal cord has major functions including supporting the head and facilitating blood flow to the brain. Car accident victims often suffer cervical spine injuries when they are hit from behind or at high speeds because their entire body is thrown forward unexpectedly, forcing the cervical spine to extend and then contract again.
The injury that occurs as a result of this motion is known as whiplash. Victims may begin to notice neck stiffness, headaches, tingling, and chronic pain after an accident. If you notice any of these symptoms, you need to seek medical attention right away. A doctor will be able to take X-rays, MRIs, and look closely at the range of motion in your neck to determine if there is an injury.
Once whiplash has been diagnosed, your doctor will begin to develop a treatment plan, which will vary depending on the severity of your injury. You will most likely be asked to participate in physical therapy to help you stretch out your neck and restore your range of motion. Depending on your pain levels, you may be told to take over-the-counter medicines, or given prescription muscle relaxers and painkillers. Learn more about whiplash treatment
Low Back Pain
There are many causes of lower back pain, so the diagnosis and treatment may be a bit more difficult. The most common causes of back pain after a car accident are disc herniation or tissue strain. Although minor aches and pains are fairly normal, especially in older adults, if you are having difficulty moving, or experiencing a non-stop, dull pain or spasms, you should seek medical attention for your low back pain.
A doctor will most likely take X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans to determine what’s causing your symptoms, especially if you have just been in an auto accident. If you have strained soft tissue, your doctor will advise you to rest and alternate hot and cool treatments to repair the tissue. You may be given medication to help treat the pain as well.
However, if it has been determined you have a herniated or ruptured disc, you may be asked to attend physical therapy, go to a chiropractor, or even undergo surgery on your back. Surgery should be looked at as a last resort because it can often be very risky. Be sure to speak with your doctor thoroughly about the risks associated with any treatment you are told to do.
If you have any questions about your personal injury, attorney Mark A. Simon can help. If you have been injured because of someone else’s negligence, call us at 303-321-4878
or contact Mark A. Simon
to discuss your rights during a free consultation.