The Painful Facts About Car Accidents and the Lower Back
February 24, 2016
Whether you are in a small fender bender in a parking lot or a high speed crash on the Garden State Parkway or New Jersey Turnpike, car crashes at any speed or impact often result in lower back injuries. After a car accident, back pain can sometimes set in right away. However, in many cases, back pain isn’t evident until weeks after the accident. In fact, many of the clients we have seen over the years at Mintz & Geftic have experienced this delayed onset of lower pack pain, often days or weeks after their accident.
Lower back pain could be caused by a number of conditions, and locating the exact cause of lower back pain is not always a simple task. The following are some causes of back pain.
Bulging disc (protruding, herniated, or ruptured disc): As discs degenerate and weaken, cartilage can bulge or be pushed into the space containing the spinal cord or a nerve root, resulting in pain. This protrusion or bulge can put pressure on the surrounding nerve roots which can lead to pain that radiates down the back and/or other areas of the body depending on the location of the bulging disc.
Sciatica: Sciatica refers to pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, which branches from your lower back through your hips and buttocks and down the leg. This condition most commonly occurs when a herniated disk, bone spur on the spine or narrowing of the spine (spinal stenosis) compresses part of the nerve. This causes inflammation, pain and often some numbness in the affected leg.
Spinal degeneration: This is caused by disc wear and tear can lead to a narrowing of the spinal canal. A person with spinal degeneration may experience stiffness in the back upon awakening or may feel pain after walking or standing for a long time. Degeneration puts car accident victims at an increased risk for serious disc problems.
Spondylolysis or Pars Defect or Pars Fracture: This is when there is a crack in the bony posterior (rear) portion of the spinal column. This type of fracture usually occurs in the pars and can lead to a persistent pars defect after the fracture has been completed. See images below from the Hospital of Special Surgery:
Like most personal injuries, obtaining immediate medical attention is crucial so that the appropriate diagnosis may be made and early intervention and treatment can be started. At Mintz & Geftic, our lawyers and support staff can help guide you through the process from the very beginning. Please contact us right away if you or a loved one is ever injured in an accident and keep an eye out for our upcoming blogs, where we will address diagnostics and treatment.
New Jersey and New York Motor Vehicle Accident Attorneys
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