Neck and Back Injuries Sustained In Car Accidents

woman being fitted for neck brace after injury

Millions of people are seriously hurt in car accidents each year. Many of these painful injuries involve the neck, back, and spine. Even a minor crash like a rear-end collision at a slow speed can cause injuries that require extensive medical treatment and therapy. If you’ve been involved in a crash, the car accident attorneys at Thomas, Conrad & Conrad recommend that you get checked out by a medical professional as soon as possible, as some symptoms may not be apparent right away. Knowing the types and symptoms of neck and back injuries can help to ensure you get the care you need.


The impact of a collision can cause your head to rapidly move back and forth, which often results in whiplash. Symptoms of whiplash include neck pain and stiffness, loss of range of motion, tension or tenderness in the upper back, neck, shoulders, and arms, headaches, and fatigue. Right after an accident, you may not even feel pain in your neck or be aware that you’re injured until a day or two later. The severity of whiplash can range from mild to severe. Some injured victims suffer long-term pain and other symptoms that can have a serious effect on their lives.

Neck and Back Strains

The muscles and tendons in your neck and back can easily be strained during a car accident. Pulled, torn, or twisted tendons and muscles not only cause pain, they can lead to long-term issues with range of motion and movement.


Damage to the ligaments and soft tissues in your back can also occur from the impact of a motor vehicle accident. Sprains can often result in swelling, muscle cramping, pain, and decreased range of motion. Sprains may take months to fully heal.

Herniated Disc

Discs are the rubbery cushions between the vertebrae of the spine. They act as shock absorbers and help keep your spine stable. When the soft, jellylike center of the disc is pushed out, it can press on nerves and cause serious pain, numbness, or weakness in your arm or leg. Although they’re most commonly found in the lower back, herniated discs can also occur in the neck. In rare cases, disc herniation can compress the entire spinal canal and require emergency surgery to prevent permanent damage.

Spinal Fractures

A spinal fracture can compress, pinch or tear the spinal cord, and usually happens in the mid or lower back. Even minor spinal fractures can lead to back and neck pain, muscle spasms, and numbness or tingling. If the spinal cord is damaged, an injured victim may become paralyzed or experience issues with bowel and bladder control, motor skills, and other problems.

Spinal Stenosis

Stenosis usually occurs due to a spinal fracture or dislocation. When the bones that protect the spinal cord narrow, it can put pressure on nerves, causing severe nerve damage. Symptoms include neck and back pain, numbness, weakness, and tingling in the limbs.

Compression Fractures

A compression fracture is a serious injury that causes the vertebral body of your spine to collapse. Compression fractures usually occur in the lumbar region, or middle of the back. They can lead to severe pain, limited movement, nerve damage, numbness, weakness, and loss of height. When a compression fracture doesn’t heal correctly, it can lead to the injury of nearby vertebrae and cause blood clots in the legs due to decreased mobility.

Treatment For Neck And Back Injuries After An Accident

Although treatment varies depending on the type and severity of a neck or back injury, some of these conditions may require surgery, hospital stays, a back or neck brace, bed rest, pain medication, and ongoing physical therapy. In some cases, an injured victim may never fully recover from a back or neck injury. That’s why it’s critical to seek immediate medical attention if you’re involved in a car accident. The sooner your injury is diagnosed and treated, the better your chances are of making a full recovery.

How A Car Accident Lawyer Can Help

Treatment for a serious neck or back injury can be costly. If you or a loved one suffers a catastrophic injury, life may never be the same again. If you’re involved in a collision that was caused by a negligent driver, a personal injury attorney can assess your case and help you recover compensation for your medical expenses, wage loss, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Contact A Car Accident Attorney

At Thomas, Conrad & Conrad, our personal injury lawyers have helped thousands of clients recover compensation for back and neck injuries sustained due to no fault of their own. Our car accident attorneys serve injured victims and their families in Northampton, Lehigh, Berks, and Monroe Counties and throughout eastern Pennsylvania. Contact us online or call our Bethlehem office at 610-867-2900 to schedule a free consultation today. We have three additional offices in Topton, Allentown, and Stroudsburg, PA.


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