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How Car Accidents Can Cause Spinal Cord Injury

The Mayo Clinic released a report that car crashes are one of the main sources of spinal cord injuries and are the cause of more than 40 percent of spinal cord injuries each year. While auto collisions can’t generally be foreseen, having the correct information about spinal injuries can help you to know about such an issue and what to do if you or a loved ones suffers such an injury.

Why Car Accidents can have such an impact on Our Spinal Cord?

The spine is an intricate structure and very sensitive. The spine isn’t strong enough to withstand the effect of an auto collision. Unfortunately, neck and back injuries are normal amid auto collisions; the effect strains the tendons and muscles in the back. Hence, the joints endure the worst part of the impact. This can bring about injuries, including whiplash, disc herniation, pressure cracks, and spondylolisthesis, to name a few.

It is critical to recognize the indications of these injuries so that in the event that you or a loved one is harmed, you will know what to do. Spinal cord injuries can be aggravated if the harmed individual is moved around. Regardless of the possibility that it was a low-speed auto collision, if you suspect sharp pain or difficulty with range of motion or movement, seek immediate medical attention.

How to Spot a spinal Injury?

How would you know whether neck or back agony is just a muscle strain, or more genuine spinal injury? You likely won’t know for sure until the point that you are assessed by a doctor, however, there are a few symptoms that may demonstrate a more serious spinal injury. For one, what is the pain level? If its anything above an 8 out of 10 pain, then its fair to say you must get yourself to the ER.

Lets explore some of the indicators after a car accident.


Whiplash is more common during rear-end collisions, as the force from impact suddenly pushes your head backward, then forward, much like the motion of a whip. Front-end collisions do not usually result in whiplash, as the headrest often stops the motion of the head and neck. Symptoms of whiplash will appear within 24 hours of the accident, and may include pain and stiffness in the neck, headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, and some fatigue. In some cases, a person with whiplash may also experience difficulty concentrating, memory problems, ringing in the ears, difficulty sleeping, and irritability.


Compression fractures are the most common in the thoracic and lumbar spine which are simply the middle and lower back; during a car accident. Upon impact, the upper body may be thrown forward while the lower body is held in place by the seatbelt. This can pull the vertebrae apart. In some cases, spinal fractures can result in spinal cord injuries, as the broken vertebrae may move out of place. The main symptom of a spinal fracture is moderate to severe back pain that worsens with movement, but those with spinal cord injuries may also experience tingling, numbness, weakness, or loss of bladder and bowel control. If a spinal fracture is suspected, it is important not to move the injured person; movement could cause further damage. Emergency personnel should be summoned who will immobilize the injured person with a neck collar and backboard before transporting him or her to the hospital.


Since the discs absorb the majority of the impact to the spine, it is possible for a disc to herniate during a car accident. A disc is herniated when its soft center pushes through a small crack in the disc’s exterior, irritating the surrounding nerves. Some people experience no symptoms, but others may experience arm or leg pain, depending on the location of the herniated disc, and may also experience tingling, numbness, or weakness in the injured area.

What to Do if You Have a Spinal Injury

If you experience any back or neck pain at all, following a car accident, you should be evaluated by a doctor to rule out any serious injury. However, it is especially important to seek medical attention immediately if you have major pain, feel numbness, weakness, or loss of bladder or bowel control. These are indications of a more serious injury that must be addressed immediately.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident, please contact one of our experienced California Personal Injury Attorneys who know all about spinal cord and catastrophic injuries, immediately, to get your questions answered and for us to assist you in getting the best medical care needed. Call us for a 100% free consultation 877-539-5366.