7 Most Common Car Accident Back Injuries

Author: Anthony Johnson Date: May 18, 2018

It is no surprise that one of the most common types of injuries people suffer from car accidents are to the the back. With nearly 2.5 million serious injuries caused by car accidents each and every year, injuries to the back are all too common.

A back injury caused by a car accident can range from the minor, such as whiplash, to the far more severe, like a spinal cord injury. The following is a list of the most common types of back injuries you might suffer if you’ve been in a car accident.



Easily the most often seen injury to the back and neck following a car accident. Whiplash is when the ligaments, muscles, and tissues in the neck are stretched and torn when the head is jarred violently back and forth during a crash.

Whiplash symptoms often do manifest completely until hours or even days after an accident. Typical symptoms include chronic pain, tightness, fatigue, and dizziness.

Soft Tissue Damage

Injuries to soft tissue in the back occur when a victim’s head, neck, arms, and shoulders are violently jerked about in a car crash. This short of hyperextension causes tissue and ligaments to tear. Common symptoms of soft tissue damage are low-grade pain, blurry vision, stiffness, jaw and neck pain, vertigo, nausea, headaches, and tingling.

Often the best way to treat soft tissue damage is the R.I.C.E. method, which is Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. If the damage is more severe, seeing a massage therapist or a chiropractor may be your best option.

Herniated Discs

Another common back injury which can be caused by a car accident is a herniated disc. A car accident can produce an incredible amount of force. When this force is absorbed by the body the discs in the back can slip and shift, pinching and compressing nerves in process.

A herniated disc can cause prolonged numbness and uncomfortable pain. The best way to treat a herniated disc is with non-invasive methods. Surgery may be required in extreme cases.



Sciatica is a disorder that can result from a herniated disc. Sciatica causes pain, numbness, and weakness along the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve reaches from the spine to the feet.

The best way to treat sciatica is through regular exercise and heat therapy. If these methods prove ineffective then chiropractic treatment or physical therapy may be required.


Spondylolisthesis is when vertebrae are shifted out of alignment by fractures. The nerves along the spine are then compressed causing pain, numbness, or weakness. Victims of spondylolisthesis may also experience difficulty walking.

Physical therapy or chiropractic adjustments can treat most cases of spondylolisthesis. Some cases may need to be addressed through surgery.

Spinal Compression Fracture

A spinal compression fracture is when the bone along the spine collapses. These fractures are caused when the back or head sustains an extreme blow of force.

Spinal compression fractures may either cause little to no pain or be outright excruciating. Victims with compression fractures often find it painful to stand up from a sitting position or to walk. The most common treatment options are pain medications, back braces, or even surgery.

Spinal Cord Injury

Injuries to the spinal cord are the most dangerous back injuries since even a minor cut, laceration, or abrasion can lead to disability. The spinal cord being severed can cause a car accident victim to be permanently paralyzed.

Spinal cord injuries are extremely dangerous and more often than not require prolonged periods of recovery. Currently, there are few treatments for injuries to the spinal cord beyond surgery. Spinal cord injury victims face a long road to recovery and need as much encouragement and support as their friends and families can offer. Spinal cord injuries are the most devastating of back injuries.

If you’ve suffered a back injury from a car accident then you may be due compensation from the person or party responsible. For decades now, The Advocates have helped car accident victims recoup the losses they suffered due to the negligence of others. Our attorneys are available 7 days a week to answer all of your legal questions, so contact our office today. Call (206) 452-4200 or chat online with an attorney immediately. Don’t wait. Contact us today. You deserve an Advocate.

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