Car accidents contribute to many spinal cord injuries. A collision’s sudden impact and force can cause the spine to compress, twist or bend unnaturally, potentially damaging the spinal cord.
The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center reports that car accidents cause approximately 38 percent of spinal cord injuries in the United States. This highlights the significant impact that car accidents can have on spinal cord health and the importance of understanding the potential injuries that can occur.
Disc ruptures or herniation
One potential spinal cord injury that can occur after a car accident is a herniated or ruptured disc. The force of a collision might cause the discs to herniate or rupture, putting pressure on the spinal cord and nerves.
Fractured or displaced vertebrae
Another potential spinal cord injury is a vertebral fracture, which occurs when one or more vertebrae in the spine break or become displaced. The impact of a car crash can cause a fracture, but the symptoms might not become evident for days or weeks.
Whiplash or muscular damage to the spine
Whiplash is also a common injury that can occur after a car accident, which might damage the muscles and ligaments of the neck and spine. While whiplash is not a spinal cord injury, it can lead to long-term pain and discomfort that can impact a person’s quality of life.
It is essential to seek medical attention after a severe car accident, even if you do not feel immediate pain or discomfort. Spinal cord injuries can take time to develop, and prompt treatment can help to prevent further damage or complications.