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4 Common Spinal Injuries from Auto Accidents To Watch For

A spinal cord injury is when damage occurs to any part of the spinal cord or nerves.

man on stretcher for spinal injury

Because the spine is particularly vulnerable in the event of a crash, however, these injuries are often difficult to notice until hours or even days after a crash. Make sure to seek proper medical care following an accident immediately. Spinal cord or back injuries are extremely serious in nature and can result in permanent disabilities such as paralysis and other complications.

Four Of The Most Common Spinal Injuries In Car Accidents


1. Whiplash

It is not uncommon for victims of rear-end collisions to suffer whiplash. The force of the impact can jerk your head forward and backward violently. The symptoms of whiplash usually become evident within the first 24 hours of the car accident but not always, and may include any of the following:

  • Pain, decreased range of motion, and tightness in the neck. The muscles may feel hard or knotted
  • Pain when rocking your head from side to side or backward and forward
  • Pain or stiffness when moving your head to look over each shoulder.
  • Tenderness
  • Headaches at the base of the skull that radiate towards the forehead.

2. Spine Fractures

Car accident victims often sustain compression fractures in the lower and middle back due to the immense force from being jerked forward and back from the seatbelt.

When someone suffers a back injury in a car crash, you generally shouldn’t move the patient. Wait for the paramedics to arrive. It’s best to not move and wait. They will secure the patient with a neck collar and backboard before transporting him/her to the hospital. When a person suffers a spine fracture, he/she will experience intense pain that becomes worse with movement.

Some other symptoms to look out for include:

  • Neck pain
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Muscle spasm
  • Weakness
  • Bowel/bladder changes
  • Paralysis

3. Herniated Disc

Understanding the function of the spine can help shine a light on what happens when the disc is herniated. The spinal discs act as shock absorbers. In a car crash, these discs can herniate. Depending on the location of the back injury or herniated disc, the car crash victim may notice:

  • Arm pain
  • Leg pain
  • Numbness, tingling, and/or weakness in the affected areas.

4. Spondylolisthesis

This condition happens when a stress fracture pushes a vertebra out of position. This bones can then press on the nerves and narrow the spinal column causing pain and numbness. It can also make walking difficult, and cause weakness in the buttock or legs. While some people may not experience any symptoms, others may continue to have problems even years after the crash.

Some symptoms to look out for include:

  • Lower back pain
  • Muscle tightness and stiffness
  • Pain in the buttocks
  • Pain radiating down the legs (due to pressure on nerve roots)

Contact The Spinal Injury Lawyers At Krasney Law Today!

If you have suffered a spinal cord injury in a car accident, you are likely faced with huge medical bills and other expenses. If the accident was a result of another driver’s negligence, you may be able to recover all your losses from the at-fault driver. Contact an experienced car accident lawyer at Krasney Law to learn more about your rights. Call (909) 380-7200 for a free case evaluation.