Car accident back pain is one of the worst and most prevalent consequences of a motor vehicle collision. In fact, MVA's are cited as the cause of a great number of varied chronic pain conditions.
The tremendous forces created during a car accident are enough to tear apart soft tissue and shatter bone. Life-altering spinal injuries are often the result of serious automobile wrecks and even minor fender benders can create some significant back ache complaints.
It is crucial to always consider the nature of pain when diagnosing symptoms which may be related to an automobile collision. The mind will be just as traumatized as the body, both from the incident itself and from the subsequent effects of the diagnostic process.
In a few cases, pain may be purely psychogenic, using the
accident as a trigger mechanism. In many cases, the emotional scars of
the accident, or the psychological effects imparted on the patient
during diagnosis and treatment, can cause a psychosomatic perpetuation
of pain long after the actual trauma has healed within the body.
Whiplash is often the result of a rear end collision. Seat belts and head restraints help a vehicle’s occupant survive the crash, but whiplash is sometimes difficult to prevent. To minimize the risk of a whiplash injury, drive a safe vehicle and make sure your head rests are properly positioned.
Whiplash neck injuries can be very painful and long lasting. Whiplash events often involve psychogenic pain, created through the nocebo effect, due to good-natured medical warnings concerning pain which may occur at some future time after the accident.
You can read more about this occurrence in my section devoted to delayed onset back ache.
The spine is the most important part of our skeletons. Spinal injuries are common in serious automobile accidents.
Vertebral fracture and spinal instability can result from the nightmarish force of a high speed collision. Occupants who are ejected from a moving vehicle face an even greater risk of spinal fracture, serious injury or death. Many spinal injuries require immediate back surgery and may leave the patient permanently affected in form and function.
Less severe crashes can also cause soft tissue injuries or herniated discs. However, I must mention the high incidence of misdiagnosis of disc issues as both stemming from the accident and as a source of pain. In a great number of cases, the disc bulge may have existed all along, but never caused pain, being that it is asymptomatic.
After a trauma, diagnostic imaging found the previously undiscovered herniation which is therefore judged to be sourced by the accident itself. In many of these instances, anatomical evidence around the herniation should prevent this mistaken implication, but often, this evidence is ignored or never even considered.
I am a retired insurance investigator. I have seen a great variety of automobile crashes, as well as the resulting collateral damage to persons involved. It is not pretty.
People who are lucky enough to avoid serious back injury should count their blessings. Unfortunately, there is often post-accident litigation which can perpetuate or even create pain in many patients, simply for the sake of making a few dollars.
When all is said and done, the lawyers and doctors usually do far better financially from these lawsuits than the actual plaintiffs. It is too bad this is not common knowledge, as it might help prevent “sue mania” which is clogging up the legal system here in the United States. Personally, some of these needless and often baseless lawsuits make me sick.
If you have been seriously hurt in an automobile accident, be happy to be alive. Your situation could always be worse, regardless of the extent of your injuries. Concentrate on your recovery and try to make the best of the functionality you still possess.
It is unfortunate that our bodies simply cannot evolve at the same rate as our ability to destroy ourselves. Technology is a great thing, but in cases of auto accident related back pain, our innovation has placed us one step forward, 2 steps back.