Car accidents continue to be a leading cause of serious injury in Florida and across the country. In fact, every year, nearly 4.5 million Americans seek medical treatment for the injuries they suffer in motor vehicle crashes. Many of these individuals have injuries to their necks, backs or spinal cords.
Even though the vertebrae in your neck and back are strong, your spine is far from invincible. Here are four progressively worse spinal injuries you may suffer in a car accident.
Whiplash is a neck injury that happens when your head moves backward and forward quickly. This ailment is common in car accidents, as vehicles often decelerate, twist or roll during crashes.
2. Herniated disks
Between each of your vertebra, you have jelly-like discs that provide cushioning and help to facilitate movement. A collision may cause these disks to rupture or move out of place, which can be excruciatingly painful.
3. Broken vertebrae
Like the other bones in your body, your vertebrae are vulnerable to fractures during a car accident. If your body pushes against your seat belt or collides with an object inside or outside your vehicle, you may break a vertebra in your back or neck.
4. Spinal cord damage
Your spinal cord helps to deliver messages from your brain to the rest of your body. Broken vertebrae may nick, cut or sever your spinal cord. If this happens, you may be at risk of permanent paralysis below the injury site.
Spinal injuries often require immediate medical care from a team of specialists. Ultimately, visiting the emergency room after any type of crash is critical to determine whether you have sustained a minor, moderate or severe injury to your spine.