Chris and James Welsh of Welsh & Welsh
Proudly fighting for the Omaha community for over 65 years.

How Long Does Back Pain Last After a Car Accident?

Published on Feb 19, 2019 at 2:51 pm in Car Accidents.

Depending on the severity of the accident and how it occured, a car accident victim can end up with a multitude of injuries. Even a minor collision can cause serious back pain because of what the body goes through during impact. This pain, depending on the severity of the injury, may last for a significant period of time.

If you’ve sustained a back injury, you may be wondering how long you’ll experience pain and what your recovery will look like. While every case is different, and your doctor will be able to give you the most accurate information for your specific injury, we can look at common back injuries and what the typical recovery period looks like.

Back Pain Caused by Car Crashes  

During a car wreck, the occupants of the vehicles involved are subjected to a significant amount of force. This jerking motion can easily result in back injuries because the spinal column isn’t equipped for the speed and impact of an accident. The most common back injuries include the following:

  • Whiplash. This is one of the most common car accident injuries – especially in rear-end collisions. When the head and neck are propelled forward while the body stays still, the muscles, ligaments, and tissues can be damaged. It’s important to recognize that the symptoms of whiplash, which include, pain, stiffness, and fatigue, can take days to manifest.
  • Herniated Discs. The force of an accident can cause the discs cushioning the vertebrae to shift, which compresses nerves and can cause pain and numbness.
  • Spinal Fractures. These injuries are often associated with failed seat belts. When the lower half of the body remains still while the torso and head are jolted, spinal fractures are likely. One type of spinal fracture is a compression fracture – which is a crack along the vertebrae. Pain, numbness, and weakness are common.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries. When the spinal cord is bruised or cut, temporary or permanent paralysis is possible. Even a low-speed collision can result in serious spinal cord damage.

Recovering from Back Injuries

Immediately following an auto wreck, it’s imperative to seek medical attention – especially when it comes to dealing with your back. Back injuries and their severity can be identified and diagnosed through a number of procedures and tests including x-rays, CT scans, MRIs, bone scans, and myelograms.

Fortunately, many back injuries only require short-term, temporary treatments. This could include physical therapy, chiropractic care, pain medication, or injections for inflammation. Serious back injuries could require surgical intervention. This may be necessary to alleviate pressure on the spinal cord or the surrounding nerves. Parts of the vertebrae may need to be removed. Fusing vertebrae together after removing a herniated disc also occurs.

How long your physical pain lasts depends on a variety of variables, including:

  • The speed at which the accident occurred
  • The size of the vehicles involved
  • The use of a seatbelt
  • Where the vehicle was struck
  • Whether or not the airbags deployed
  • How serious the injuries are

In most cases, car crash victims are likely to feel pain, discomfort, or soreness for up to six weeks following the incident; however, there is no exact science to determine how long someone will experience pain. If surgery is necessary, the pain could last for significantly longer. In the event of the development of a chronic condition, some individuals could experience some degree of pain for the rest of their lives.

The best way to determine how long your pain will last is to consult a doctor. They will be able to determine the full extent of your injuries and estimate a time frame of how long your recovery will take.

Compensation for Auto Accident-Related Back Pain

If you were injured at all in your accident and it is determined the accident was caused by the other driver, it’s likely you’ll be eligible for compensation. If you are set to experience extensive treatments and procedures, medical bills can pile up quickly. It can be difficult to balance medical bills on top of lost wages if you need to miss work. We can investigate your accident and build a case that shows how the other party acted negligently and caused your accident.

In the event you have sustained a life-long injury that will require continued care, compensation through a car accident claim may be the only way you can maintain your way of life and take care of your new condition.

At Welsh & Welsh, we understand how difficult it can be to focus on recovery after an automobile accident when you’re worried about medical expenses and time away from work. If your wreck was caused by a negligent driver, you can take legal action to seek compensation for what you’ve been through. For more information on your legal rights and options, contact us today.