Spinal injuries are commonly caused by traffic collisions. Unlike more noticeable injuries, they can take several days to begin producing symptoms. It doesn't take much impact to damage the soft tissue in the neck or throw the spine out of alignment.
Spinal injuries can occur at speeds as low as 5 mph or in minor fender benders. Symptoms can take several days to appear.
Common types of spinal injuries
People who sustain spinal injuries often experience back aches, headaches, bodily discomfort and other symptoms. These symptoms can be triggered by:
- Whiplash: The pulling or tearing of soft tissue around the neck or spine. This is common with whiplash, which occurs when someone's head whips forward and backward during a rear-end collision.
- Slipped or herniated disc: Damage to a disc in the spine, resulting in a protrusion of a gel-like substance. This type of injury can occur suddenly during a high-impact crash. People who have poor posture or strength when doing physical activities are more prone to this type of injury.
- Dislodged or damaged vertebrae: A high-impact crash can sometimes dislodge the vertebrae in the spine (the bones that make up the spine).
Common symptoms to be aware of include:
- Pain and stiffness to the impacted area
- Dizziness, confusion or vertigo
- Burning, numbness or tingling in the arms or legs
- Mood changes, such as irritability
- Loss of mobility to the impacted area
- Loss of bladder or bowel function (severe cases of slipped or herniated discs)
- Sciatica, which is a painful nerve condition that is felt in the lower extremities
Spinal injuries don't always occur on their own. They can also occur along with more severe injuries, such as broken bones, musculoskeletal disorders and head injuries. In many cases, the spine is impacted by the healing process of bone fractures. For example, when a fracture heals while the spine is misaligned, it can cause the spine to stay that way permanently.
Seeing a chiropractor after a crash
If you were involved in a crash, it's critical that you seek prompt medical attention from your primary care physician. Your medical evaluation may reveal the types of injuries you may have sustained and how serious they are. Moreover, your doctor can begin treating your injuries before they get worse.
If your doctor finds that you sustained a spinal injury, or if you begin feeling pain and discomfort in the neck, back, or head, your doctor may refer you to a licensed chiropractor. During your initial visit, a chiropractor will ask about your medical history, take X-rays and pinpoint the source and cause of your pain.
A chiropractor may also perform adjustments to help realign your spine and help you heal from certain musculoskeletal or soft tissue injuries. Your treatment may help reduce the pain associated with your injury and help you restore mobility.
How can I afford to see chiropractor?
The cost of chiropractic treatment depends on how many visits will be needed, as well as the chiropractor's level of expertise. When pursuing a car accident claim, you may be eligible for compensation for all medical expenses, including chiropractic treatment. It must be proven that chiropractic treatment is necessary, however.
An experienced Alabama car accident attorney at Dean Waite & Associates, LLC can use your medical evaluation as evidence to support your claim. Our legal team will also advocate for fair and complete compensation for all damages you're entitled to.
To get started on your claim, contact us online and schedule your free case evaluation.