People often hear the term “whiplash” when a driver sustains an injury in a rear-end collision. This is an injury to the cervical part of the neck.
However, there are other spinal injuries that commonly occur as a result of this kind of vehicle accident. Here are three more:
- Disc herniation: During a car crash, even a minor rear-end accident, the spinal discs located between the vertebrae will absorb a good deal of the impact. This can cause them to shift out of place, a movement that may compress nearby nerves. Pain and numbness will likely follow.
- Spondylolisthesis: Spondylolisthesis is a condition that occurs when a portion of the vertebrae shifts because of a stress fracture. Like a herniated disc, the displacement can compress nerves in the vicinity. The result will be pain, numbness and walking difficulties.
- Spinal fracture: While a seat belt keeps the lower part of the body relatively still in the event of a collision, it does not do the same for the chest and head. These upper areas experience more movement during a crash and bear the jolting effects of the impact. A spinal fracture is one injury that could result from this circumstance.
The next step
Even if you feel okay following a rear-end collision, you should have a medical checkup right away. Whiplash, for example, may only require rest, but your doctor might also prescribe physical therapy. Conservative care is frequently recommended for other spinal injuries, but depending on the severity, treatment may include surgery.
A look ahead
Many other types of injuries can occur during rear-end collisions: damage to the knees, arms or hands, injuries to the face and head and even internal injuries caused when a seat belt tightens across the body. As the victim of a car crash, you should not hesitate to explore your legal options. While you focus on treatment for your injury, an advocate can work on your behalf to secure full and fair compensation to cover your medical expenses, lost wages and more.