How To Deal With Lower Back Pain After Car Accident

Lower Back Pain After Car Accident

Written by Jeremy D. Earle, JD

May 5, 2022

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How long do back pain symptoms remain after a vehicle accident?

In the majority of vehicle accident victims, back pain resolves within six weeks. However, the   majority of the pain should lessen within a few days after the accident as the injured soft tissues heal  and the inflammation fades. A well-designed pain management treatment plan may assist in expediting the healing process.

What is the most common cause of lower back pain associated with automobile accidents?

A car accident may result in various unpleasant injuries, but the most frequent are muscle strains or  rips caused by the head being pushed forward and backward violently; this is referred to as  whiplash. Injury to the spinal discs, facet joints, and bone structure may occur due to this motion, depending on the severity of the incident.

What Should I Do If I Suffer From Lower Back Injuries Following a Car Accident?

Back injuries may be discovered after a car collision, and their severity assessed using X-rays, CT  scans, MRIs, myelograms, and bone scans. Once a diagnosis has been established, treatment options  vary according to the kind and extent of the impairment. Numerous back disorders may be treated  well in the short term with medications, inflammatory injections, and physical therapy.

The MostCommonBackInjuries SustainedinAutomobile Accidents


When you have a back strain, your soft tissue gets overextended and injured. Strain is a disorder that affects the tendons in your back, which connect the bones to the muscles. On the other hand, a back sprain affects the ligaments that link joints to bones or bones to other bones.


During a car crash, discs may shift and compress nerves, resulting in a herniated disc. A herniated  disc occurs when the inner component of the spinal disc pushes through the outer ring. Doctors   refer to a herniated disc as sliding, bulging, or ruptured. Due to the scraping of the projecting portion against nerves, you may suffer numbness, a burning sensation, or weakness throughout your body.

Facet joints link the spine’s bones, and nerve roots pass through them to several locations  throughout the body, including the arms and legs. Facet joints enable you to bend or twist your  spine without harming it. On the other hand, damaged facet joints produce pain by interfering with your nerves. Problems with your facet joints may be caused by thinning cartilage or previous untreated spinal injuries. Muscle tightening or spasming, soreness on the outside of your back, or  radiating pain are all possible symptoms.


A fracture of the thoracic or lumbar spine causes moderate to severe back pain that worsens with movement. If the fracture is caused by high-energy trauma, the patient may suffer brain injury and lose consciousness or “blackout.” Other injuries, referred to as distracting injuries, may also cause suffering that seems overwhelming in comparison to back pain. In these instances, it is reasonable to assume that the patient has a spine fracture, particularly after a high-energy occurrence such as a vehicle collision.


Spondylolisthesis is the dislocation of a vertebra as a consequence of a stress fracture. Compression  of the spinal canal or nerves may occur when the vertebrae shift. The quantity and location of  displacement affect pain levels and treatment choices. Individuals often experience weakness, pain,  and numbness, in addition to trouble walking.


Whiplash is one of the most common injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents. It occurs when the head and neck move back and forth, abruptly straining and ripping the neck’s muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Whiplash may result in chronic back pain, although the cervical spine is the  primary source of pain and symptoms. Whiplash is often misdiagnosed or left untreated as a life-  threatening disease, hence increasing the risk of mortality.

Rest is critical for the recovery of your back condition. Take some time off work to avoid spending the whole day at a desk or on your feet. Ice and heat may be used to alleviate back discomfort. Some people like ice, while others prefer heat; you’ll have to experiment to see which method works best  for your degree of discomfort.


Inflammation may be controlled with the use of anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen. Consult your physician, however, if you need pain medication for more than a week. After a

professional examination of your back condition, you may be offered stronger prescription drugs. Bear in mind that if you are prescribed prescription-strength drugs, you are not permitted to drive while on them.


A corticosteroid injection may be necessary to alleviate back or joint discomfort, inflammation, and irritation. Corticosteroid injections provide anti-inflammatory properties that are only transitory.

They are not, however, a long-term remedy, astheir effects fade withtime.


Being sedentary for an extended period might impede healing and exacerbate discomfort. Exercise and stretching should be included in your daily routine with the consent of your pain management  physician. To help in the rehabilitation process by reestablishing strength, flexibility, balance, and  range of motion. Your physician may recommend physical therapy sessions. To expedite your recovery, you may also do at-home workouts under the supervision of your doctor.

When should I see a physician if I am experiencing back pain due to an automobile accident?

If you’ve been involved in a car accident and believe you’ve been injured, are suffering severe pain,  or something doesn’t seem right, you should immediately see a doctor. Severe injuries requiring  rapid diagnosis and treatment include shattered bones, neck injuries, spinal injuries, chest injuries, and head trauma. Whiplash, in particular, may manifest itself up to 24 hours after an incident.

Your physician will do a physical examination of your back, neck, shoulders, and general health. Additionally, they will advise on how to check for any harm if symptoms develop over time.

If you have a concept of what you should do based on what was taught in high school gym class many years ago, keep in mind that the thinking about how to treat this injury after any trauma has  changed dramatically in recent years.

Back discomfort after a vehicle accident or following any kind of trauma should be addressed carefully. If not identified and treated appropriately, it may result in a lifetime of pain and incapacity.

To ensure the quickest recovery possible and protect their legal rights, individuals must understand what to do if they experience back pain following a collision, what types of specific injuries may be  causing the pain, and what types of testing and treatment they can anticipate.

What To Do If You Suffer From Back Pain Following a Car Accident

To guarantee that you obtain the finest medical treatment possible and that you receive any legal compensation to which you may be entitled, take these procedures if you suffer back pain after a vehicle accident:

Seek emergency medical attention: Time is critical when accurately evaluating an automotive  crash- related injury. While the ache might be caused by mechanical connective tissue or soft tissue  damage, acute back pain after a vehicle collision could also be caused by an extruded spinal disc fragment, resulting in permanent nerve injury or even paralysis. Unfortunately, as an accident

lawyer, I’ve encountered both of these situations. The point is that you never know what’s causing  the tremendous, acute pain that occurs soon after a wreck. As a result, the sooner an individual gets   treatment for an accident, the sooner he or she may begin obtaining the required and appropriate  medical care to restore health.

Seek medical attention and diagnostic imaging to rule out a more serious possible damage and to ascertain the true reason for your backache so that it may be treated effectively. Additionally,  prompt medical documentation at the emergency hospital or with your family physician will  demonstrate to a health insurance company or a no-fault insurance company that the vehicle incident caused your injury. When insurance companies are requested to pay for required medical  care, they will search for early treatment and medical proof. Establishing a clear timeline for back  pain after a vehicle accident, as well as documentation of the injury and treatment, makes it simpler  to get a complete and fair legal compensation for your injury if it was caused by another driver’s  recklessness behind the wheel. Delays in obtaining treatment impair your capacity to recover quickly  and fully. It is often more difficult to convince hesitant insurance companies to pay for your  treatment and make it more difficult to get a fair legal settlement after a collision.

Avoid “toughing it out”: No matter how little or insignificant the backache seems to you, it is most likely the start of what might develop into a catastrophic injury if not treated swiftly and appropriately. As a lawyer, I’ve seen several clients who initially believed they had a minor injury after an accident but developed significant and incapacitating pain within days or weeks. Often,  trauma or an accident tears  the thick outer annulus portion of a spinal disc. As individuals walk and  do everyday activities, more and more disc material starts to protrude out of the annular rib. This may result in a herniated spinal disc and subsequent surgery.

Consult an attorney who has expertise with individuals suffering from back pain after an automobile accident: This is critical for various reasons. The first consultation is always free, and you  will at the very least learn what your insurance company is accountable for and what you may be entitled to. An expert injury attorney could assist you in reviewing your medical records and the  treatment and attention you  are receiving to ensure that bills are paid and determine the value of  your case if your pain and impairment were caused by the negligence or carelessness of another motorist.

Inform your vehicle’s insurance company of your injury: Include your injuries in your application for No-Fault benefits – also known as a “written notice of injury” – which must be submitted to your  No- Fault vehicle insurance provider “within one year of the collision.” (1) and (4) MCL 500.3145

Refrain from signing any settlements, releases, or waivers in connection with your collision: Unless  and until you speak with an experienced attorney who is looking out for your best interests, do not  sign any settlements, releases, or waivers provided to you by your car insurance company, the at- fault driver’s auto insurer, or any other insurance companies or individuals.

Can I sue for back pain sustained as a result of an automobile accident?

Yes. If your motor insurance company refuses to pay – or terminates – No-Fault coverage for your accident, you may sue for unpaid, past-due medical bills and lost income.

You may also seek compensation for pain and suffering as a consequence of your collision-related backache. Still, you must first establish that the other motorist was at fault for the incident and that  your backache qualifies as a “severe impairment of bodily function” under our automobile legislation.

Types of injuries sustained in a collision

Based on our expertise assisting individuals who have suffered an injury as a result of an accident, our lawyers have created the following list of the most prevalent kinds of injuries sustained as a result of a crash:

  • Sprains and strains of the lumbar spine
  • Fractures (lumbar and thoracic vertebral fractures)
  • Herniated discs (lumbar or thoracic);
  • Bulging discs;
  • Ruptured discs;
  • Protruding discs;
  • Spinal stenosis;
  • Soft tissue injury

Where should I go if I have back discomfort after a vehicle accident?

If you are having back discomfort at the vehicle accident site, you should immediately contact paramedics or make your way to the medical hospital.

Regardless of leaving the collision site, you should immediately seek medical evaluation, care, and treatment at a local emergency room.

Alternatively, you may make an appointment with your family doctor the same day or as soon as possible after the incident, but keep in mind that most family physicians will be unable to undertake imaging to determine whether you have had disc damage. Most primary care physicians will  prescribe pain and/or anti-inflammatory medications and advise you to wait and see.

Suppose you have back discomfort after a vehicle accident and cannot visit a doctor on the same  day. In that case, the important is to get medical assistance as soon as possible.

Diagnostic examinations

Diagnostic testing is critical for evaluating and treating injuries sustained in an accident.

The diagnostic tests listed below are the most often employed by hospitals and physicians to detect, diagnose, and subsequently treat accident victims’ injuries. While an MRI is the most accurate test available, most hospital Emergency Rooms will employ a CT scan since it is less expensive and  quicker to administer. An x-ray will detect whether the spinal vertebrae are fractured, and an EMG

will determine if nerve impingement or nerve damage is caused by accident. The following are the  four most often used diagnostic tests for backaches:


Computed Tomography (CT) scans

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans

Electromyography (EMG) scans

There are several medical therapies available to those suffering from back pain after a vehicle accident because there is no such thing as a “one-size-fits-all” therapy, the appropriate course of  action will depend on the individual, the kind and severity of the injury, the presentation of  particular symptoms, and the individual’s health and physical condition.

According to our lawyers’ expertise, therapeutic options for back pain after a vehicle accident may include the following:

  • Physical therapy
  • Medication for chronic pain
  • Rehabilitation treatment
  • Neck bracing for the short term
  • Steroid injections for pain relief
  • Surgery

The majority of pain experienced after a collision may be classified as mechanical. While bed rest   and medication were formerly typical methods of treating backaches, the emphasis is now on   getting individuals to some degree of movement, such as mild walking if permitted.

When it comes  to surgery, it is important to remember that unless there is a ruptured or extruded spinal disc, it is exceedingly unusual for individuals to undergo it immediately after an accident.

Numerous variables contribute to a physician’s final decision that surgery is the best course of action. However, surgery   is often suggested after more conservative therapy approaches fail to substantially improve pain and function.

Even when surgery is not suggested, backaches caused by any form of injury may be quite dangerous and can even result in chronic discomfort and incapacity.

How long do back pain symptoms remain after a vehicle accident?

While there is no one-size-fits-all remedy for everyone who has had an injury in a car accident, most individuals who experience discomfort will see relief within the first few months as damaged connective tissue starts to repair.

The duration of a person’s backache is determined by various circumstances, including the nature of the precise kind of injury, the findings of diagnostic imaging, the promptness with which treatment was initiated, and the success of those treatment choices.

Do you need assistance with back pain after a vehicle accident? Make an appointment with the professionals at Michigan Auto Law.

If you have had back pain due to a vehicle accident or injury and have concerns about your legal rights and the substantial legal compensation to which you may be entitled, contact us toll-free at 719-300-1100 for a free consultation with one of our expert lawyers.

Contact Warrior for a Free Car Accident Consultation

If you have been involved in an automobile accident, you must seek medical treatment immediately. Although accident injuries may go unreported immediately after the collision, they may develop into chronic discomfort. Additionally, if you have prolonged lower back discomfort, you must get medical assistance from a motor vehicle accident doctor.

If you reside in Colorado and believe you’ve been injured in a vehicle accident and need a thorough diagnosis and treatment plan, contact a reputed Colorado accident and injury clinic immediately.

Warrior Personal Injury Lawyers
1902 W. Colorado Ave., Ste. 100
Colorado Springs, CO 80904

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