Whether you were involved in a collision or were struck while walking, riding a bicycle, or operating a motorcycle, you likely sustained a spinal injury.
The spine is one of the most sensitive parts of the human body — it doesn't take much impact to result in an injury. It's composed of 33 vertebrae (small bones) that make up the cervical (neck), thoracic (mid back), lumbar (low back), and sacral (hips) regions.
The discs between each vertebrae act as cushions for the spine and allow mobility and flexibility. Both the vertebrae and discs protect the spinal cord and nerves.
Any disruption to the spine due to a traffic collision can result in prolonged discomfort, serious pain, or a disability.
Minor crashes and whiplash
Even something as minor as rear-end fender bender can cause whiplash. This happens when a low-impact of the collision causes the neck to jerk backward and forward in a whip-like motion.
Whiplash can cause discomfort in the neck, spasms in the upper back and shoulders, headaches, dizziness, and tingling in the arms and hands.
According to WebMD, whiplash causes damage to the soft tissue and vertebrae in the neck. It could resolve itself within a few days with rest and proper care. It can several take weeks or months for some people to recover, however.
Whiplash is often treated with physical therapy, pain medication and massage.
Severe spinal injuries
Any damage to the spinal cord can result in serious health complications. A high-impact crash could dislodge vertebrae, cause vertebral fractures, or damage the discs (resulting in a slipped disc). Pressure placed on the spinal cord and nerves can lead to:
- Numbness, acute pain, burning, or tingling
- Pain that extends to the limbs or lower extremities
- Loss of range of motion and mobility
- Muscle weakness
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Difficulty breathing
- Cognitive problems
- Sexual dysfunction
- Paralysis (in extreme cases)
Take your crash-related spinal injury seriously
When it comes to your spine, you should never take any chances. It's urgent that you see a doctor, no matter how well you feel immediately after a crash. Your doctor can identify a spinal injury by performing an x-ray or MRI.
Treatment for serious spinal injuries may include:
- Months of physical therapy
- Use of a back brace
- Chiropractic care
- Pain and inflammation medication
- Surgery in extreme cases
Your recovery won't be cheap, however. The medical bills and missed days at work may be financially devastating. In a perfect world, the insurance company representing the at-fault driver would gladly pick up the costs. Unfortunately, it doesn't usually work that way.
If you were hurt in a crash, you need a strong legal advocate on your side who can help you get the compensation you need. For nearly two decades, The Whaley Law Firm has helped injured people throughout greater-Louisville recover the damages they're entitled to.
Contact us online or call 866-703-7575 to schedule your free initial consultation.