Auto Accident?



Spinal Injuries from Auto Collisions need to be evaluated as quickly as possible to ensure proper treatment is provided and prevent future complications.


What is a Spinal Injury?

Spinal injuries are very common in motor vehicle collisions.  Quick movements from one direction to another are dangerous for the spine and can easily cause damage the spine leading to a wide array of conditions.  Spinal injuries are commonly referred to as sprain/strain injuries which includes damage to ligaments, tendons, muscles and/or intervertebral discs.  Sprain is when ligaments that help support and restrict excessive movement of the vertebrae are torn to some degree. Strain is when muscles and tendons are torn to some degree.

Joints within the back of the spine are called facet joints and are very susceptible to injury.  Intervertebral discs are structures between the vertebrae can tear leading to disc herniation “slipped disc”.  Nerves that extend out from the spinal cord and exit the spine between the vertebrae can also be damaged.  And, in some cases vertebrae can actually become fractured and/or dislocated.

Whiplash, sprain/strain within the neck, is very common and most often involves forward and backward movement of the head and neck.  Side-impact crashes or injuries, however, can also result in whiplash injuries.  Although severe spinal injuries and whiplash can result in paralysis and even death, most spinal injuries including whiplash injuries are relatively mild.  It is common for symptoms of spinal injuries to not occur for hours, months or even years later.

Signs and Symptoms

Research indicates potentially 2 out of 3 people involved in motor vehicle accidents suffer spinal injuries and experience symptoms.  Obvious signs and symptoms often do not develop until 2 to 48 hours after the injury.  When spinal injuries are left untreated, in the coming months to years, there is the chance of developing post-traumatic osteoarthritis, spinal degeneration, chronic stiffness, pain and other chronic conditions.  For this reason, it is important, whether obvious symptoms are present immediately or not, to be evaluated as soon as possible after an auto collision.

The most common symptoms of spinal injuries are:

Spinal cord under pressure of bulging disc

  • Pain and stiffness
  • Whiplash patients, more than two thirds, commonly experience headaches at the base of the skull.
  • Pain, tingling, numbness and stiffness. This symptoms commonly extend down into the upper shoulders and back and even in the ribs.
  • Pain, tingling, numbness into arms/hands and legs/feet
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Nausea
  • Blurred vision
  • Vertigo (the sensation of the room spinning)
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Jaw pain
  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating.

Importance of Evaluation and Treatment

Evaluation for spinal injuries is very important.  In most cases the symptoms of whiplash and other spinal injuries are felt immediately.  However, it is possible for symptoms to begin weeks to months after an injury. The sooner an evaluation is performed the better in order to prevent the progression of an injury.

We offer Free Consultations for our clients to determine the severity of a new injuries and provide guidance to ensure all aspects of the injury are evaluated and treated correctly.

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