Back Care After An Auto Accident in Los Angeles, CA

Six million car accidents occur every year in the United States alone. Because of its many discs, bones, joints, nerves, and supporting soft tissues, the spine can easily be affected by vehicle-related impacts, which is why it’s important to be proactive about spine care after a car accident. Here’s what you can do to achieve this goal.

Don’t Ignore Post-Accident Discomfort

Any type of noticeable spine-related discomfort felt after a car accident shouldn’t be ignored. There are many reasons for this piece of advice, with the main ones being:

  • You’ll benefit more from early treatment
  • Self-treating the wrong source of back pain won’t result in relief
  • Ignoring minor back pain could contribute to major issues with your spine later on, especially if the accident damaged a spinal disc or compressed a nerve

It’s crucial to get an early diagnosis for your pain so you can start treatment as soon as possible. Treatments could range from ice application and over-the-counter inflammatory meds to spinal fusion surgery. Los Angeles patients who are diagnosed and treated quickly often experience better outcomes than those who wait.

Seek Treatment if Symptoms Develop Later

Adrenaline is a hormone often released in response to a traumatic event, such as a car accident. Its purpose is to help your body manage the impact of accidents of this nature. However, it can also mask back pain related to your auto accident for several hours or days afterward, which is why it’s common to not feel the full impact of discomfort related to an accident until a day or two later. If you notice this is happening to you, get an evaluation from your doctor or a Los Angeles spine surgeon as soon as possible to find out what’s causing your symptoms.

Watch Out for Deceptive Symptoms

Following a car accident, you might feel numbness or tingling sensations in your shoulders or arms, or you could have tension headaches or muscle weakness that extends to your hips or legs. These symptoms are sometimes related to something going on in or around the spine.

Getting an accurate diagnosis may require specialized tests to determine if your symptoms are related to your spine, nearby nerves, soft tissues, or something else. In addition to whiplash, some of the more common back-related injuries you could experience as a result of a car accident include:

  • Spinal fractures
  • Compressed or irritated spinal nerves
  • Damage affecting spinal discs (e.g., herniated, bulging, or misaligned discs)
  • Spinal cord injuries (SCIs)
  • Muscle strains and/or tears

Follow a Care Plan that Works

Once an accurate diagnosis is made, you’ll receive a post-accident treatment and care plan. Because these recommendations are based on the true source of your discomfort, you’ll be more likely to experience meaningful relief. Treatment for car-related back injuries may involve:

  • The temporary use of pain medicine or anti-inflammatory drugs
  • A customized physical therapy plan
  • Therapeutic injections
  • Massage therapy
  • Gentle muscle-stimulating exercises

Another good reason to be proactive about back pain after a car accident is because of your insurance. If your post-accident discomfort isn’t clearly documented, the paying insurance provider may raise questions about the nature of your injuries. Also, if you have a vehicle-related accident while on the job, waiting to receive proper medical care could make it difficult to file a workers’ compensation claim or get one accepted.

If you’ve been in a car accident, be especially watchful for any symptoms indicating your back may have been injured. For accurate diagnosis and customized treatment, the industry-leading professionals at The Spine Institute are here to help. Our spine experts are pioneers in every aspect of spine care, including prevention, non-surgical treatment, and state-of-the-art surgical techniques. Call one of our friendly representatives today at 310-828-7757 to schedule a consultation.