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Types of Back Injuries from Car Accidents

Young man with back pain on grey background

Damages from car accidents not only affect the vehicles but also the people involved. The most common injury people who were involved in a car accident endure is to the back.  Minor to severe back injury can have a significant impact on your daily life. Below are the four most common types of back injuries.

  • Thoracic Spine Injuries. Injuries to the thoracic spine can be very serious. Sprains and fractures can result in permanent nerve damage. These injuries to the upper back, where it connects to the ribs or chest region, are mostly caused by high impact car accidents.
  • Lumbar Spine Injuries. The lumbar spine has five of the largest vertebrae and the strongest muscles needed for stability of the spine. A sprain to the lumbar spine consists of damage to the ligaments, and a strain to the area is a stretching of the ligaments, tendons or muscles. Any injury to the lumbar spine can severely impact your ability to perform daily activities with limited movement, swelling, bruising and tenderness.
  • Herniated Discs. These discs are the cushions separating the vertebrae and they protect the spine. When a disc is displaced, it places pressure on the spinal cord or surrounding nerves.   The most common symptoms of a herniated disc are sudden and intense pain in the lower region of the back and numbness to the legs.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries. The most serious back injuries involve the spinal cord and can range from bruising or excessive pressure, to permanent damage of the spinal cord and nerves. Permanent damage often leads to long-term disability which can result in total or partial paralysis and loss of feeling and reflex function. Other types of injury that those who suffer from a spinal cord injury are at risk for are infections, blood clots, bleeding, pneumonia and spinal fluid leaks.

Back injuries can be diagnosed through x-rays, CT scans, MRI’s, myelograms and bone scans. Depending on the severity and type of injury, some treatments may be longer than others. Serious back injuries may require surgery to remove parts of the vertebrae or fusing it together after the removal or a ruptured disk.