Back Pain After a Car Accident: What You Need to Know

Back Pain After a Car Accident: What You Need to Know

The impact of a car crash, even what seems like a minor fender bender, can injure your back. In fact, neck and back trauma are the most common injuries sustained in car accidents. 

Auto accident specialist Robert Mitchell, MD, and our team at Tulsa Accident Care Center are here to help you get your bearings after a car accident. At our state-of-the-art clinic, our team of licensed physicians, physician assistants, and nurses have the knowledge and experience to quickly and accurately diagnose and treat your back pain

We share more about car accidents and the resulting back pain. 

What causes back pain following a car accident?

Depending on the speed cars are traveling, the force of a car accident is equivalent to about six tons. It’s the tremendous force of moving vehicles when they collide that causes neck and back injuries. 


Whiplash is a very common car accident injury. It happens when a sudden impact causes the head and neck to whip backward and forward. This can cause damage to the structures of the spine, including the bones, tendons, and ligaments. If you have whiplash, you may experience pain in the neck (cervical spine), upper back (thoracic spine), or lower back (lumbar spine).

Bulging disc

Your spine has 23 discs situated between your moveable vertebrae. Each disc’s job is to act as a cushion between the vertebrae so that you can move and bend with ease. The force of a car accident can cause discs to bulge or slip out of place. The displaced discs can press against nerves in the spinal canal and cause back pain. 

Facet joint injury

Facet joints serve as the connections between your spine and bones. These joints are key to the flexibility of your spine. Additionally, nerve roots pass through facet joints as those nerves travel to your extremities.

High-impact auto accidents can cause facet joint injury. This type of injury can make it difficult to complete simple daily tasks.

Back strain

In addition to injuries to the joints and bones of your spine, car crashes can cause the ligaments, tendons, and muscles of your back to stretch beyond their normal range. If you have a back strain, you may experience low back pain, as well as spasms. 

Back injury warning signs

It’s important to seek medical attention following a car crash. With such a traumatic event, the body releases chemicals to help you deal with it. While this helps you get through the time immediately after the car crash, it can also delay symptoms of injury. 

If you injure your back in a car accident, you may experience pain and/or abnormal sensations, such as tingling and numbness. 

Don’t ignore the warning signs of a back injury. A minor back injury left untreated can progress into a chronic or degenerative spinal condition. Have an auto accident specialist evaluate your spine and provide appropriate treatment.

Help for auto accident injuries

A back injury sustained in a car crash can derail your productivity for weeks or even months. The sooner you have your injury evaluated the better. Our Tulsa Accident Care Center team can start you on the right treatment plan to get you on your feet and back to your life.

If you’re in an auto accident, call our knowledgeable office team to schedule an evaluation or send your request through our web portal. We’re here to help you get back on track after a car crash. 

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