If you’ve recently had a motorcycle accident and are experiencing back, neck, and shoulder pain, you’re not alone. Back pain is one of the most common symptoms experienced by motorcycle accident victims. If you’ve injured your back, you may also experience numbness, a loss of sensation, tingling or burning sensations, or pain that extends down the legs.
Some experience these symptoms immediately, but many do not because your body releases endorphins that can keep you from feeling pain. You’ll begin to feel the pain once the endorphins work through your body. Another reason the onset of pain may be delayed is because swelling and bleeding in or near your spine increase over the first few days following the motorcycle crash injury.
A thorough medical exam is essential because you may not feel the pain of your back injury after a motorcycle accident. Your doctor can use diagnostic imaging like X-Rays, MRIs, and CT scans to evaluate the bone and soft tissues that may have been damaged. Back pain after motorcycle accidents is the easiest symptom to recognize. The underlying injury and swelling pose a significant threat to your physical well-being. Untreated breaks, tears, strains, and sprains can cause permanent damage, leading to other chronic conditions like Post-Traumatic Osteoarthritis.
Back Injuries Are Common Following Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents, especially those that occur at high speed or in congested areas, can lead to a host of back, neck, and shoulder injuries that cause back pain. It’s essential to get an accurate diagnosis of the source of your back pain after a motorcycle accident so you can receive thorough treatment and reduce long-term symptoms.
It’s also vital to secure an experienced motorcycle crash injury attorney to help you fight for financial compensation based on the cost of treating your injuries and any subsequent loss of function, ability to work, and general quality of life.
The Most Common Injuries That Cause Back Pain After Motorcycle Accidents and How Doctors Diagnose Them
Lumbar Spine Injuries
These injuries can be extremely painful in your lower back (the lumbar region). Pain can extend from your lower back through the toes, including tingling or the sensation of being ‘on pins and needles.’ Injuries range from complex spinal cord injuries, such as fractures that require surgery, to sciatica that can be treated through physical therapy or other less invasive procedures.
Diagnosis includes a thorough physical examination, X-rays, or MRIs.
If you have lower back pain that’s hard to pin down, you likely have a lumbar sprain. A car accident’s strong and sudden force can damage the muscles and surrounding tissue in the back. It can happen in any accident but is most common when you’ve been rear-ended in a collision.
Diagnosis includes ruling out other potential causes of your pain and a thorough physical examination. X-rays are often inconclusive, so it is helpful to be evaluated by an experienced physician familiar with back pain after motorcycle accidents.
Spinal Stenosis is a degenerative disease typically resulting from an untreated back injury. It’s a disease that worsens over time, and delayed treatment can reduce your recovery potential. Your spinal cord is surrounded and protected by your vertebrae. During Spinal Stenosis, the channel through your vertebrae narrows. The added pressure shifts your vertebrae and pinches nerves inside the channel. This compression most commonly appears in the neck or the lumbar region, and the location determines the type of symptoms.
Spinal Stenosis of the neck symptoms include tingling in the arm or fingers, neck stiffness, or pain and weakness when you try to lift lightweight objects. Spinal Stenosis in the lumbar region causes pain and tingling from the legs to the toes, lower back stiffness or pain, sore hips, or in extreme cases, the loss of bladder or bowel control.
Diagnosis includes a thorough physical exam, CT scans, and MRIs.
Can an Accident Cause Spinal Stenosis?
While the impact from a collision cannot cause Spinal Stenosis, it can exacerbate the degenerative condition of the spine, leading to a Spinal Stenosis diagnosis.
Vertebrae are the bones that make up your spine, and spongy structures called vertebral discs keep them from banging together. Disc herniation is also called herniated or slipped disc. It occurs when the disc is knocked out of the normal position and presses on the spinal nerves. It can happen anywhere along the spinal cord. Treatment ranges from disc replacement surgery for severe injuries to physical therapy for more minor injuries.
Your doctor will diagnose disc herniation through X-rays, MRIs, and a clinical evaluation.
Thoracic Spine Injuries
Thoracic spine injuries cause significant middle back pain to upper back pain. Injuries include fractures, disc herniations, or paralysis in the case of severe trauma. The vertebrae in your thoracic spine are narrower, meaning even a minor motorcycle crash injury can cause compression of the spinal nerves.
Diagnosis includes a history of symptoms, a description of the accident, and a CT scan.
Facet Joint Injuries
Facet joints are on the back of each vertebra, allowing the spine to move, bend, and twist. When injured or the surrounding cartilage is injured, inflammation presses on the spinal nerve, causing significant back pain. Facet joint syndrome is a chronic degenerative disease that can occur if you don’t receive timely treatment for a facet joint injury. Untreated, this type of injury can be debilitating.
Facet joint injuries are diagnosed by extensive evaluation and imaging.
Contact a Maryland Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you suffer back pain after a motorcycle accident, the Zirkin & Schmerling legal team is ready to fight for you. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident and your losses, you may be able to recover compensation for vehicle damages, medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of future earnings, and more.
You can start your case today by calling 410-753-4611 or scheduling a free case consultation online here.