How do Car Accidents Cause Neck and Back Pain?

Car accidents can cause devastating injuries that affect your quality of life. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), approximately 400,000 motor vehicle accidents happen on Florida roadways annually. Nearly half of these accidents cause injuries, and about 3,700 lead to fatalities. 

The neck and back are highly susceptible to damage from the impact of a car crash. This makes back and neck injuries the most common injuries after a traffic accident. Car accident injuries often cause damages such as lost work, pain, and medical bills, which may add to the financial pressure as victims recover.  

If an individual suffers severe injuries from a car crash in Florida caused by the negligence of others, local and state allow them to seek compensation for damages. A Port St. Lucie car accident lawyer can help victims of injury accidents get the compensation they deserve. Keep reading to learn how car accidents can cause neck and back pain, plus how a seasoned personal injury attorney can help. 

How Motor Vehicle Accidents Can Cause Neck and Back Injury

The human body is not built to withstand the impact of an automobile crash. Injuries sustained in an accident can manifest anywhere on the body, but the neck and back usually take the brunt of the effects.

When an accident happens:

  • Everything in the car is usually propelled forward by the impact’s inertia.
  • With so little room to move about in a car, the body constantly has its forward motion interrupted by obstacles like the seatbelt and the dashboard.
  • The sudden and rapid neck, head, and back movement can easily damage these body parts. 

It is also possible to sustain neck and lower back injuries if an accident victim is ejected from the vehicle during the impact. Injuries can also happen if one collides with other objects inside or outside the car. Irrespective of what caused your damage, you may feel pain in these regions for several reasons.

Signs of Neck and Back Injury After a Car Accident in Port St. Lucie, Florida

Back and neck pain may manifest immediately or delay for a few hours or weeks. Some of the immediate signs of neck and back injuries include:

  • Intense pain in the injured area
  • Lack of mobility in the fingers or toes
  • Burning or tingling sensation in various body parts
  • Numbness on different body parts
  • Immediate onset of a headache
  • Breathing difficulties

Even if the spinal cord sustained severe injuries and received emergency treatment, injured victims may still need further medical attention to help with rehabilitation and pain management. 

Below are some of the delayed neck and back injuries:

  • Persistent headaches
  • Pain or tenderness in the belly
  • Pain in the back, shoulders, and neck
  • Weakness of the inability to lift light objects
  • Prolonged tingling or numbness in the fingers, arms, or hands
  • Stress, panic, and anxiety

Common Causes of Neck and Back Pain After a Car Accident

Car accidents can affect many body parts, especially the back and neck. Understanding how various accident injuries occur is essential for getting treatment. Below are some of the typical back and neck injuries after a crash:


Whiplash is the sudden head and neck jerking motion that might occur after a collision. The term “whiplash” describes a wide range of neck, back, and spine injuries, including sprains, rips, fractures, and herniated discs. Injuries like these can become quite painful and significantly reduce your quality of life if not treated promptly.

Lumbar Sprains

Are you suffering from general lower back discomfort after a vehicle crash? That’s a typical sign of a sprain in the lumbar region. Pain in the lower back is a common complaint after a car collision because of sudden and severe force. Pain in the lower back is widespread in rear-end car accidents.

Injuries in the Lumbar Spine

Lower back pain is caused by damage to the lumbar spine. These injuries are excruciating and should be treated by a professional. Spinal injuries can range from those requiring surgery, like spinal fractures, to those requiring less invasive therapies, like sciatica. 

Clinical tests, such as an X-ray or MRI, are used to make a definitive diagnosis. Sensations from the lower back down to the toes can range from highly painful to severe, and lumbar spine injuries require immediate evaluation and treatment.

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is a progressive disease that worsens when one delays seeking back or neck pain treatment. The spinal cord passes through a channel within the vertebrae. Narrowing this canal, known as spinal stenosis, can cause serious health problems. 

The extra pressure causes the vertebrae to extend beyond their normal range of motion and pinches the nerves. This usually manifests in the lower back or neck.

Tingling sensation in the arm or finger, neck stiffness, and the inability to lift light objects are signs of possible spinal stenosis in the neck. Lumbar spinal stenosis causes a variety of uncomfortable sensations, including discomfort or numbness from the knees to the toes, lower back stiffness or soreness, aching hips, and, in severe cases, incontinence.

To determine the cause of your back pain, a doctor will assess your symptoms and likely prescribe multiple diagnostic tests.

Herniated Disc

The vertebral discs in the spine act as shock absorbers, preventing the bones in your spine from grinding against one another. Think of them as natural shock absorbers for the spinal system. Since the force of a car accident’s whiplash can compress or push these structures out of line, disc herniation frequently occurs in automobile collisions. An injured disc is sometimes called a herniated disc or a slipped disc.

One of the most common reasons for mid-back pain following a car accident is a herniated disc, which can occur anywhere along the spinal column.

There is a wide range of treatment options, from rest and physical therapy to disc replacement surgery for the most severe cases. Disc herniation is a precursor to other degenerative spinal illnesses. Therefore it’s important not to ignore the symptoms. 

Disc herniation can be diagnosed with the help of imaging techniques like x-rays and MRI, as well as a thorough physical examination by the doctor.

Thoracic Spine Injuries

Injuries to the thoracic spine can happen anywhere from the upper back to the middle back. They can produce severe discomfort anywhere from the mid to the upper back. Fractures, disc herniations, and even paralysis are all possible outcomes of a car accident. 

Because the vertebrae in the thoracic region are thinner than those in the lumbar and cervical regions, trauma to this area of the spine can be particularly severe.

Facet Joint Injuries 

Facet joint injuries may cause immediate pain or degenerative spinal disorder after car crashes. Pain from such an injury can be debilitating if left untreated. Extensive evaluation and imaging may help diagnose facet joint injuries.

Why You Need a Car Accident Injury Lawyer

An attorney can help accident victims pursue compensation for damages caused by the long-term effects of a car crash. Although they may act like they are on your side, insurance adjusters’ primary goal is maximizing their employers’ profit. 

Handling auto accidents alone may lead to costly mistakes that damage your chance of receiving just compensation. Hiring a personal injury attorney levels the playing field and helps build a solid case.

Our seasoned Port St. Lucie car accident lawyers have experience handling back and neck injury claims. They’ll work with the necessary experts to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (561) 800-8000 for a free, no-obligation initial consultation.

Contact Information