Law Offices of Mathys & Schneid | October 27, 2023 | Car Accidents
Any car accident can cause injuries and trauma to the body — especially your back and spinal cord. Minor back injuries can result in nerve damage and pain, while more severe back injuries can lead to paralysis and limitations on your range of motion.
Even low-speed car wrecks can inflict trauma to your back and spine. It is essential for Illinois drivers to understand more about these injuries and what to do after suffering one.
Frequency of Back Injuries After Car Accidents
About 18,000 new spinal cord injuries are diagnosed yearly, with roughly 39% of these new cases resulting from car accidents. These statistics mean that each year, approximately 7,000 individuals develop a spinal cord injury as the result of a car crash.
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, the vast majority of these individuals are male. The average age of individuals who sustain spinal cord injuries is 43, which means that those who suffer debilitating back injuries could face significant ongoing costs if they cannot return to work because of their accidents.
Consequences of Back Trauma and Spinal Cord Injuries
The speeds and forces involved in your accident will dictate how severe your back injuries may be.
Following a car accident, you might experience:
- Pain and stiffness in your back
- Difficulting bending forward, stretching backward, or moving your hands
- Radiating pain that shoots along your spinal cord and nerves
- Numbness or tingling below the site of trauma
- Paralysis that may be temporary or permanent
Following a back injury, you might find completing certain activities essential to your daily life difficult. In addition to being limited in your ability to work, you could find it challenging to play with your children, go grocery shopping, or sit or stand for long periods of time.
Treatment Options For Back Injuries and Spinal Cord Trauma
No matter how mild your back injury may feel following a car accident, getting prompt medical care can be critical in mitigating the damage to your spine and speeding your recovery. You may be more injured than you realize.
A medical professional will often begin by taking an X-ray or MRI of your back to see the amount of harm done to your spine and soft tissue. This will help your medical team determine the best course of treatment going forward.
Your treatment options could include:
- Rest and gentle stretching exercises at home
- Physical therapy
- Pain medications to help you manage your symptoms
- Work restrictions
- The wearing of a brace or support to help stabilize your spine
In cases of severe back injury or nerve damage, your doctor may recommend that you undergo one or more surgical procedures. This could be necessary to insert devices or hardware to help promote the healing of your spine or repair nerve damage.
Whatever course of treatment your medical team recommends, your prognosis depends on your ability and willingness to follow your doctor’s instructions. Keep follow-up appointments, and try not to unnecessarily delay any treatment recommended. Also, make sure to take any medications that your doctor prescribes as you are instructed.
What To Do After Sustaining a Back Injury in an Illinois Car Accident
In Illinois, if the accident you were injured in was caused by the negligence of another, you may be able to pursue compensation to recover the losses you have sustained. After a car wreck, make sure to consult an experienced Illinois car accident attorney as soon as possible, who can determine your best legal options going forward.