Understanding Neck and Back Injuries that Car Accidents Cause

    Car accidents happen all the time. You might experience one right outside your house or many miles away. You can hit another car and cause a fender bender, or you may have a much more serious collision.

    Either way, you can hurt yourself or someone else. You might feel like a slight impact won’t harm anyone, but some car wrecks surprise you. Perhaps you hadn’t built up any great speed with your car, but you sustain a lingering injury anyway.

    No state avoids car wrecks. 2019 saw 256,338 car wreck injuries in Texas alone, and most other states see similar stats. More populated states have more accidents, but even less-populated ones have their fair share.

    When car accidents occur and injuries result, back and neck problems top that list. Let’s discuss why.

    Why So Many Neck Injuries?

    If a car hits you, maybe it strikes your rear bumper. You might also hit the vehicle ahead. These fender-bender-type accidents happen more than all others. Distracted driving often causes them.

    Whether you hit a car ahead or one hits you from behind, your head and neck jolt forward and backward. When that happens, you can damage your neck. Many such collisions cause soft tissue injuries.

    You might sustain whiplash. You can have a mild case or a much more serious one. You can end up in a neck brace for weeks. You need ice or a heat wrap for the pain. You may also get over-the-counter pain meds or doctor-prescribed ones for more serious neck injuries.

    If another car hits you going much faster, or if you hit another vehicle at an accelerated speed, you can even break your neck. Again, the head and neck jolting back and forth quickly cause these problems.

    If you break your neck, another accident type might cause it as well. For instance, a car might T-bone your vehicle, or perhaps your car flips over onto its roof. These serious accidents sometimes cause broken necks, and you may never fully recover in the worst instances.

    What About Back Injuries?

    Back injuries can also happen when serious car wrecks occur. Back injuries can happen if you wrench your back during a vehicular impact. You might also have a situation where the seatbelt holds your torso in place, but the constrictive action hurts you.

    You can strain a back muscle. That’s painful, but you can usually recover if you give yourself time. Heat and ice can help, as can over-the-counter or prescription pain meds.

    You can even break your back if a car hits you or you strike another vehicle at high-speed rates. If the car flips over or you hit an inanimate object, like a tree or building, that jarring action can break your back’s vertebrae.

    If that happens, you might recover eventually after physical therapy. You may need surgery as well. Back surgery can go well, but at other times, it’s not a viable option.

    You might never walk again if you break your back severely enough. You may also walk only with a cane. You may end up in a wheelchair and only have slight mobility from that point forward.

    How Do These Injuries Impact Your Life?

    If you injure your neck, back, or both, you might spend some time recovering. You may spend time at home and not attend work. You can investigate working from home if your job allows that.

    You may also look into workers’ compensation payments. If you drove a work vehicle and you injured yourself while on company time, you should certainly get compensation for that.

    You might need rest and recuperation. Perhaps you’ll need surgery, and you must recover afterward. Even if you don’t have a surgical option, you can get better as your body undergoes the natural healing process.

    You might feel sad while you recover. Maybe you’re in severe pain, and you feel like your family does not understand. With neck injuries, you must remain still, and every movement might feel agonizing.

    Back injuries don’t feel any better. If you can’t move and you’ve lost arm and leg control, someone else must feed you. They must care for you like they would an infant. You might experience depression because of your lost mobility.

    What Can You Do?

    You might recover somewhat in time. It depends on the neck or back injury’s severity. You might go through a long and arduous physical therapy course. Sometimes you can feel better after this process, but it’s painful and takes courage and fortitude.

    You may also see a professional mental health expert. Therapy might make you feel better if you’ll never fully recover. You can discuss how you feel and your frustrations. Talking offers a healthy outlet, and perhaps you don’t feel you can say certain things when you’re with your family.

    You can also look into jobs you can do if you can’t head back to work anytime soon. Maybe you can do work resembling your old job but from home.

    You Must Adjust

    Neck and back injuries can frustrate you beyond belief. You might recover somewhat, but you may have lifelong pain as well. Chronic neck or back pain can certainly happen, and car wrecks often trigger these conditions.

    Doctors can help you somewhat, but you must also adjust your perspective. Maybe you can’t do certain things you once could, like play tackle football in the park with friends or play softball in a local league.

    In time, you should feel more in control again. Maybe your life isn’t quite what it was, but you can still enjoy certain activities, and you must remember that. After neck and back injuries, maintaining a glass-half-full attitude sometimes becomes essential, particularly if you’ll never fully recover.

    If you have never experienced a car accident, consider these common neck and back injuries, and drive safely. You don’t want this experience, and you don’t want anyone who you hit with your vehicle going through it either.

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