Back Injuries Caused by Motor Vehicle Accidents

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Car accidents to large commercial trucking accidents can result in many serious injuries. Back injuries are one of the more common and often require extensive (and costly) medical treatments.

The back is made up of a system of bones, muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments and nerves with the spinal cord running down its length. The tremendous amount of force in a high-impact collision can cause any number of serious injuries. Even low-speed or minor rear-end accidents can result in injuries with long-term effects.

After any motor vehicle accident, the best course of action is to get checked out by a doctor or go to the emergency room. Some symptoms, such as for whiplash, may not show for hours or possibly days.

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Common Back Injuries from Motor Vehicle Accidents

Back strain is an injury to either a muscle or tendon, where those that support the spine are twisted, pulled, or torn. A back sprain is the stretching or tearing of a ligament beyond its normal range of movement. Symptoms may include muscle cramping or spasms and decreased function and/or range of motion of the joint, such as having difficulty walking or standing straight.

Herniated discs. Discs are a cushion that separates the vertebrae and protect the spine. A herniated disc occurs when a disc is displaced. The force of a motor vehicle accident, for instance, can cause the discs to shift, crack or rupture. If it compresses a nerve in the lumbar or cervical spine, it can cause significant pain and numbness. If severe enough, surgery may be required.

A slipped disc is when the soft inner portion of the disc protrudes through the tough outer portion. A ruptured disc is when the outer portion breaks open.

Pinched (compressed) nerve occurs when pressure is applied to a nerve by the surrounding tissues (i.e., bones, cartilage, muscles, tendons) disrupting the nerve’s function. This can result in pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness.

Whiplash is one of the most common injuries from a motor vehicle accident (typically rear-end accidents). It causes damage to the muscles, ligaments, and tissues in the neck that can result in pain, stiffness, dizziness, blurred vision, and other symptoms.

Spinal fracture, also known as a vertebral fracture or broken back, is a fracture affecting the vertebrae of the spinal column. It can result in mild to severe pain that worsens with movement and may cause numbness, tingling, muscle spasms, weakness, or paralysis.

Spinal cord injuries may result from damage to the vertebrae, ligaments, or discs of the spinal column or to the spinal cord itself. In a motor vehicle accident, the spinal cord could become bruised, lacerated, or damaged from the force of the accident. This type of injury can result in permanent nerve damage, long-term disability, or paralysis.

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Signs and Symptoms You May Experience

After any motor vehicle accident, the best course of action is to get checked out by a doctor. The information in this blog should only be used to inform and not as medical advice or to diagnose any conditions.

You may experience:

  • Pain (the level will depend on the severity of the injury)
  • Pain that radiates down the buttocks and legs
  • Stiffness
  • Numbness or tingling in arms, hands, legs, feet
  • Difficulty standing or walking
  • Muscle spasms or cramping
  • Limited range of motion

Injuries may contribute to the development of other back, joint and spine conditions including:

  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Spinal osteoarthritis
  • Spinal stenosis


Have you been seriously injured in a slip, trip, or fall accident? Call Nash & Franciskato at (877) 284-6600. We have a successful track record for helping accident victims collect the compensation they deserve.

In the Kansas City area and across Missouri, the Nash & Franciskato Law Firm will fight for your rights. Contact our legal team today at (877) 284-6600. One of our experienced staff will speak with you personally and will provide you with a free, no-obligation case evaluation.



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Find related blog articles: Automobile Accidents and Injuries.


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