A car accident can have serious physical repercussions on the occupants of the vehicle. The mechanics of a car crash can injure vital parts of the body, such as the brain and spinal cord. A back or spine injury from a car accident can cause many symptoms that interfere with a victim’s quality of life. If you or a loved one suffers any type of back injury in a San Antonio car accident, consult with a spinal cord injury attorney for legal help.
Herniated or Slipped Disk
Spinal cord disks are round, rubbery disks that sit between the vertebrae of the spine. They have tough exteriors and soft, jelly-like interiors. They act as shock absorbers to protect the bones of the spine. In a car accident, a victim can suffer a slipped disk, meaning a disk has moved from its correct place in the spine. A ruptured disk is an injury where the exterior of the disk ruptures and the interior leaks out.
Discogenic pain is another type of spinal disk injury that can occur in an auto accident. This refers to shooting pains that can occur at random. These pains may occur in a single damaged disk or radiate throughout the body (sciatica). Common associated symptoms include pain in the arms or legs, numbness or tingling, and general weakness in the limbs.
Facet Joint Injury
Facet joints in the spinal cord are what connect each vertebra in the spine. These joints are where nerve roots pass to connect the spinal cord to other parts of the body. They are also responsible for the bending and flexing movements of the spine. If a facet joint sustains an injury in a car accident, it can lead to significant pain and discomfort. Facet joint injuries can lead to painful muscle spasms, with no known cure. Therapeutic massage may help manage facet joint pain.
The neck is an extension of the spinal cord. It contains the top seven vertebrae of the spine (the cervical spine). The most common neck injury suffered in car accidents is whiplash. Whiplash is a soft-tissue injury that can refer to stretching, straining or tearing of the muscles in the neck. It can lead to pain that radiates down the shoulders and arms, as well as headaches and loss of mobility. Most victims make full recoveries from whiplash, but it may take several weeks to heal.
Chronic pain is pain in any part of the body that is consistent, meaning it persists for long periods of time. Chronic back pain can be debilitating, getting in the way of the victim’s ability to perform daily activities, work, play with children and enjoy life. Chronic back pain can result from nerve damage in a car accident. It may be possible to manage pain with medication and other treatments.
A fracture is a cracked or broken bone. A spinal fracture refers to a broken vertebra. This injury can occur in a car accident if the back or spine impacts something, such as the steering column or the force of a seat belt. It can also be a type of crush-related injury, which can cause spinal compression. A spinal fracture can lead to chronic back pain, mobility problems, misalignment and permanent injuries, such as paralysis.
Paralysis (Tetraplegia/Quadriplegia and Paraplegia)
Paralysis is the loss of feeling and function below the point of injury on a spinal cord. It is an irreversible condition with no known cure. There are different types of paralysis according to the parts of the body affected. Tetraplegia (also known as quadriplegia) refers to paralysis in all four limbs and the trunk, often caused by injuries to the top part of the spine. Paraplegia is paralysis in only the lower half of the body. These injuries can be complete or incomplete, depending on whether or not the victim retains any mobility or sensation below the point of injury.