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Common Neck and Back Injuries from Car Accidents

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Neck and back injuries are amongst the most common injury types that result from a car accident. A neck injury or a back injury can become a persistent and constant pain that severely restricts your movements and interferes with daily activities. Sometimes, multiple surgeries are required to resolve the injuries and bring relief from pain

The neck consists of seven vertebrae, each being cushioned from the other by discs that prevent these vertebra from rubbing against one another. The spine carries the spinal cord, which does the work of transferring nerve signals from the brain to different parts of the body. An injury to the back or the neck can potentially damage nerves.

A neck injury or a back injury may not be very apparent immediately after the accident. However, the injury can deteriorate if not treated in a timely manner. There is a chance of you losing mobility of limbs and of a loss of sensation that may worsen with time.

The sudden strain of a car accident on the delicately structed neck and back bones can rupture the cushioning discs resulting in restrained movements, pain, and damage to nerves.

Neck and back injuries include whiplash, herniated disc, ruptured disc, neck fracture, chronic neck pain, chronic back pain, cervical dislocation, bone spurs, cervical spondylosis, and injuries to the spinal cord.

The severity of a back or neck injury can be assessed only after carrying out tests, such as X-rays, CT scans, myelograms, bone scans, etc. The treatment varies with the nature of the injury. Pain medications, physical therapy, surgery are treatment procedures available.

As far as diagnosis is concerned, it is worth knowing what the different diagnostic procedures are used for –

  1. X-rays are invariably the very first diagnostic test that is carried out for neck and back injuries from a car accident. X-rays can diagnose fractures and altered alignment of the spine.
  2. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) reveals damage to soft tissue.
  3. Computerized Tomography (CT) scans yield a 3D image of fractures.
  4. Electromyography (EMG) reveals muscle damage by studying electrical responses of muscles. This helps identify nerve injuries.

With these tests, a doctor can identify the origin of the pain.

The following symptoms indicate neck injuries –

  • Pain in the shoulders, arms, or hands.
  • Restricted movement of neck or shoulders.
  • Weakness in hands.
  • Slowing down of reflexes.
  • Spasming of back muscles.

Since nerves from the spinal cord branch out to all over the body, there is no telling pain in which part of the body may be related to spinal damage. So, tell you doctor about any pain that you experience.

Regardless of whether the injuries to back or neck are temporary or permanent, you need the services of a personal injury lawyer to pursue compensation for you. You may not be able to determine the severity of the injury. But a lawyer can work with a team of medical experts to fully understand the nature of injuries and prepare a case for fair and just compensation.

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