The only thing more upsetting than being in a motor vehicle collision is discovering that you may have been hurt in the accident. Neck and lower back pain are usually caused by whiplash during an accident. During an accident, the inertia caused by the force of an opposing vehicle causes everything within the car to move forward in its direction. When that forward motion is stopped, enormous pressure can be placed on the neck and back in an event called whiplash. While neck and back pain may fade after a few days, it can sometimes be indicative of a larger problem.
Neck injuries after a car accident are usually one of two things: either facet joint pain or a disc injury. Facet joint pain is the more common of the two and can lead to painful muscle spasms. Fortunately, facet joints can be fixed easily simply by releasing the frozen joints. A common – and easy – way to release a frozen facet joint is to apply a hot or cold compress for 15 minutes every two to three hours. Your doctor will tell you whether hot or cold is right for you. You may also want to see a chiropractor.
Disc injuries after a car accident can lead to chronic pain. Many people experience disc injury in the lower back area; however, it is also possible to experience disc injury to the neck. Physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medications are often effective at treating disc-injury-related back pain. If these treatments do not provide relief, there are several other options available before considering surgery.
Discogenic pain is a very common type of back pain among people who have been in a car crash. Back pain can have a number of different causes, so it’s important that you see a doctor to identify the precise cause of your pain. It could be that you have degenerated or damaged discs. Since degenerated discs are not always a cause of back pain, it may be necessary to conduct additional tests to identify potential problems with your discs.