Back Pain After a Car Crash

No one wants to experience a car accident, but unfortunately, it does happen. Alongside vehicle damage, your body has likely suffered some injury due to the accident’s impact.

One common area in the body that is affected by car accidents is the back. The back and spine are complex systems that include bones, muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments, and nerves. Not only that, but your back also houses the spinal cord, one of the most fragile and vulnerable structures we have in the human body.

If you’ve recently been in a car accident, read on to learn more about back pain after an accident and what steps you should follow.

What Causes Back Injury After a Wreck?

One of the most common body parts affected by car wrecks is the back. Unfortunately, the back carries much of the impact from accidents. Your back takes on much pressure to help stabilize your body during a car wreck, leading to injury.

Even if you believe you have minor symptoms, it’s always crucial that you get checked out by a professional. Even acute injuries can worsen over time and turn into chronic pain.

Back Injury Symptoms After a Car Accident

Many people aren’t aware that their back has been injured. They often don’t associate their symptoms with a back injury but just temporary pain that will eventually go away.

Symptoms of a back injury may appear immediately after an accident, but they can also be delayed. Here are some common symptoms of a back injury after a car accident.

  • Pain
  • Radiating pain that travels down the buttocks and legs
  • Stiff muscles
  • A numbing or tingling sensation (arms, hands, legs, and feet)
  • Difficulty standing or walking
  • Muscle spasms

Common Back Injuries from a Car Wreck

If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, don’t just ignore the pain. Your back may be injured, and it’s vital that you avoid further damage. Here are four common back injuries caused by car wrecks.


While whiplash is a neck injury, it often causes long-lasting pain in the back. Whiplash is caused by rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck. The force of the movement causes whiplash and is one of the most common injuries caused by car accidents. More specifically, if you’ve been in a rear-end accident, you are more likely to experience whiplash.

Many people with whiplash are treated in just a few short weeks following the appropriate treatment plan by a physician, pain medication, and exercise. However, some people have chronic neck and back pain and other complications.


Here are a few symptoms of whiplash.

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Worsening pain with neck movement
  • Pain or tenderness in the shoulder, upper back, or arms

Soft Tissue Injuries

Another common back injury after a car accident is a soft tissue injury. Soft tissue injuries refer to sprains, strains, and tears that affect the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the back. It’s important to note that soft tissue injuries take longer to heal, even with proper treatment from a physician.


A soft tissue injury, such as a sprain, strain, or tear, can lead to the following symptoms:

  • Severe pain
  • Tenderness
  • Stiffness
  • Muscle spasms

Herniated Disc

A herniated disc can occur at any point of the spine. This condition refers to a problem with one of your discs (the rubbery cushion) that sits between each vertebra needed to make up the spine. A herniated disc doesn’t just affect the spine; it can also irritate the nearby nerve, causing pain to radiate.

Individuals in a car accident are likely to experience a herniated disc because of the tremendous impact that the back takes on during a car accident. The supportive discs are more prone to slip out of place, crack, and even rupture. Compensation for a herniated disc can be significant, especially if surgery is required. Learn more.


Here are a few symptoms of a herniated disc.

  • Arm or leg pain
  • Weakness
  • Numbness and tingling


A back fracture is another common back injury that someone may experience if they’ve been in a car accident. This is because the impact of an accident can cause the vertebrae in the spine to fracture.

There are various fractures, but the most common type in car accidents is compression fractures. A compression fracture happens when too much pressure/force is placed on the spine. This excessive force leads to minor cracks that form in the bone.


Some symptoms of a back fracture include:

  • Sudden, on-set back pain
  • Pain that gets worse when you stand or walk
  • Limited spinal mobility
  • A curved shape to your spine

What to Do When You Have a Back Injury After a Car Crash

If you’ve just been involved in a car crash and your back feels injured, seeking medical attention is essential. Back pain should be properly checked out by a physician, even if the pain feels minimal.

Get Checked Out at A Hospital

The back and spine are complex structures, and it’s best to ensure that no serious problem is brewing and that you can get treatment as soon as possible for any injury you may have.

Consult an Experienced Injury Attorney

After you’ve been diagnosed and received your treatment plan, it’s essential to talk to a personal injury attorney in Houston with experience with back injury cases. Unfortunately, back injury claims often involve a complex process and overwhelming medical costs. Talking with an experienced car crash attorney can help you avoid pitfalls and get deserved compensation.

Consider Consulting a Spine Specialist

If left untreated, back injuries can cause life-long pain. Consider consulting a spine specialist who can properly diagnose your injury and provide you with an effective treatment plan. A spine specialist focuses explicitly on treating various spine injury conditions.

Generally, an orthopedic surgeon or a neurosurgeon is consulted for severe back injuries.

A spine specialist is recommended if you’re dealing with the following:

  • You have acute or chronic pain in the back or neck.
  • You have an injury that’s causing mild or severe pain in the back.
  • You have an injury that affects the neck or parts of your nervous system.

Car accidents are undoubtedly troubling. If you’ve just been in a car accident, it’s essential to understand the symptoms of a back injury and the type of back injuries that are most common in car wrecks.

No matter how mild your back pain may feel, seeing a physician as soon as possible is essential. Even if you feel fine after an accident, it’s still important to seek medical attention at your earliest convenience, as there can be a delay in your symptoms associated with a potential injury.

Once you’ve visited a physician, be sure to contact an experienced spine injury attorney if you believe you have a back injury case.

How Can a Car Accident Lawyer Help?

If you have a back or neck injury after a car crash, consulting a personal injury lawyer is an excellent first step to protecting your rights. An attorney can:

  • Investigate the crash
  • Help you get needed treatment
  • Obtain needed evidence
  • Negotiate with the insurance company
  • File your lawsuit if the case does not settle