Georgia car accident victims frequently suffer from neck and back injuries. Although car accidents can cause many different types of serious injuries, the neck and back are two of the most common areas of the body that can be damaged in a collision. This is because when you are involved in a crash, your body is jerked forward and backwards, and your spine absorbs much of the traumatic force. Damage can be sustained by the muscles, tendons and ligaments of your neck and back, or by the delicate discs in your spine.
Common symptoms of neck and back injuries include:
- pain and aching
- muscle spasm
- numbness and tingling in the extremities
- muscle weakness
If you have been involved in a motor vehicle collision and are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor right away. You may just have some sore muscles, which can usually heal in time on their own. But if you are experiencing a lot of pain that won’t go away, it’s possible you could have damaged the intervertebral discs in your spine.
Your spine is made up of bony vertebrae, which are separated by gel-like discs. These discs help your spine stay flexible. Your spinal cord runs through the middle of the vertebrae. When your body undergoes the trauma of a serious accident, your spinal discs can become damaged. Sometimes the pressure on the disc can cause the soft, pulpy center to bulge outward from the vertebrae. The fibrous outer layer of the disc can even become torn, allowing some of the pulpy center to leak out. If some part of the damaged disc comes into contact with the nerves in your spinal cord, it can cause severe and debilitating pain.
If you have been involved in a serious collision and are experiencing any of the symptoms of a spinal injury, a doctor will perform diagnostic tests to determine the extent of the damage. While x-rays are good for identifying broken bones, they do not show damage to the spinal discs. A doctor will usually request more specialized tests including:
- CT (computed tomography) scan, which provides detailed images of the bony parts of the spine;
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), which provides detailed images of the soft tissues of the spine;
- EMG (electromyogram) and nerve conduction studies, which measure the nerves’ ability to send electrical signals;
- Discogram, where dye is injected into the center of the injured disc to make it visible on an x-ray.
Sometimes these injuries can be resolved with medication and physical therapy. However, it is not uncommon for car accident victims to undergo more serious medical treatment. That is why it is so important to hire an experienced personal injury attorney to ensure you get the compensation you deserve for your serious injury.
Ty Wilson is an Atlanta car accident lawyer | Savannah car accident lawyer who has written a book call the 10 Secrets of Georgia Car Wreck Claims. He encourages any one who has been injured in a Georgia car accident to read the book before hiring an attorney, speaking to an insurance company adjuster, or even signing any forms. He offers the book free of charge. Call 866-937-5454 to order yours or order online.