Your back is made up of vertebral bones, cushioning discs, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. These components work together to support your spine and body and allow you to move without pain. However, an automobile accident can throw the entire system out of whack. The force the back sustains during an accident can lead to bruises, strains, sprains, fractures, and other injuries, causing lower back pain. Learn more about the types of lower back pain after an auto accident, as well as the treatments.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injuries are common following an auto accident. The trauma can cause bruises, strains, and sprains. While these injuries are common after a car accident, they can also be quite painful. Symptoms of soft tissue injuries include swelling, inflammation, pain, and stiffness. Many people report reduced mobility when healing from soft tissue injuries.
Whiplash in the Lower Back
If you have whiplash, you only expect to feel it in your neck and shoulders. However, the back pain can go all the way down to your lower back. The sudden impact can cause the spine to curve. When the spine curves, it also compresses and can cause the facet joints to fracture. When the facet joints are fractured, the bones can slip out of place and irritate the nerves.
Bulging and Herniated Discs After an Auto Accident
Intervertebral discs sit between the vertebrae on your spine. These discs contain a gel-like structure that serves as shock absorbers for your vertebra. If your vertebra hyperextends and compresses the discs during an auto accident, the discs can bulge out. Bulging discs compress nerves and can cause pain and numbness.
A herniated disc occurs when the force of the accident causes a portion of the disc’s outer shell to break, allowing some of the fluid to escape. The broken shell and the fluid often press against nerves, causing pain and numbness.
Treating Lower Back Pain After an Auto Accident
The treatment you need depends on the severity of your injuries. If you have a minor soft tissue injury, you might benefit from the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) method. Your car accident doctor also might recommend massage therapy to increase the blood flow to your lower back. This will promote healing while reducing pain and inflammation.
If you injured the facet joint during the car accident, you might require physical therapy and mechanical bracing. Your doctor also might provide a steroid injection to reduce the pain. The injection should provide relief within a few days.
Bulging and herniated discs can also respond to steroid injections and physical therapy. However, surgery is sometimes required to repair or remove the damaged portion of the disc.
Don’t Suffer from Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain can be debilitating. It makes it difficult to walk, sleep, and engage in normal daily activities. Even sitting in a chair can be too much to bear. If you have lower back pain, consult with an experienced injury doctor in Brooklyn. After diagnosing the cause of the pain, your car accident doctor can provide treatment.