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Signs of Neck and Back Injuries After a Car Accident

Cervical spine (neck) and lumbar spine (lower back) injuries often do not fully present themselves for up to 6 weeks after the car accident.

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Car accidents can cause a wide variety of injuries. In some cases, victims may feel fine right after the accident, however, the injuries may fully develop days or even weeks after the crash. The victim may even refuse medical treatment. Our St. Louis car accident lawyers explain that this delay in diagnosis of injuries may happen for several reasons including:

  • The injuries are not acute or life-threatening such as no external bleeding, prolonged loss of consciousness or broken bones.
  • Routine medical tests in urgent care or emergency room may not reveal any soft tissue injuries such as muscle, tendon, or ligament injuries.
  • The body’s natural defense system gets triggered when it is disturbed. The release of adrenaline may mask the pain resulting from car accident injuries.
  • Pain medications can mask the injuries and make discovery difficult until the medication is discontinued.

In many cases, the cervical spine (neck) and lumbar spine (lower back) injuries do not fully present themselves for up to 6 weeks after the car accident. The victim starts experiencing pain, which gets progressively worse until medical intervention is required. A herniated or bulging disc, which is sometimes referred to as degenerative disc disease, can be a gradual development of symptoms of an injury. Some signs and symptoms include:

  1. Headaches
  2. Restlessness or lack of sleep
  3. Difficulty performing routine household chores and other tasks without pain
  4. Radiating pain while sitting or walking
  5. Numbness in low back and/or legs
  6. Pain radiating to the shoulders or down the arm

A correct diagnosis of the injury would require a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan and clinical correlation to the patient’ symptoms. An MRI scan is the most commonly used test to reveal if there is a disc injury. The radiologist reads and interprets the test result and sends the report to treating doctor, who would them correlate the findings of the radiologist with the clinical findings. If the doctor finds any correlation, it is likely that the injury is attributable to trauma such as a car accident.

Speak with a St. Louis Car Accident Attorney

If you have been involved in an automobile accident, we recommend you speak with an attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney can educate you about your rights and help you determine whether or not you have a claim for compensation. If the crash was a result of someone else’s negligence, your lawyer can help you pursue compensation for your injuries and suffering. You may be able to recover all losses including medical expenses, wage loss, therapy costs, and other costs resulting from the car accident injuries. In some cases, the victim may also be able to recover compensation for pain and suffering.

Call (314) 361-4242 today to schedule a free consultation.

Updated: June 11, 2019