Every year, New York emergency departments receive 7 million outpatient visits. Over a quarter-million of these are for various types of back problems.
Many of these back-related complaints are due to motor vehicle crashes. In fact, over 136,000 emergency department visits occur in the state for this reason.
However, not all cases of back pain after a car accident require a trip to the ED. There are also many instances when back pain occurs many days after the crash.
So, who do you turn to for help in such situations? Do you need to visit a specialist?
We’ll answer all these questions in this post, so be sure to keep reading!
For visible and severe injuries after a crash, 911 should be the first point of contact. Especially if it involves severe back pain or loss of sensation. Many high-impact crashes are severe enough to cause temporary or even permanent paralysis.
If you can move but you still have pain and injuries all over, make sure you go straight to the nearest hospital! Report to the emergency department so that a doctor on duty can tend to your injuries right away.
Do the same even if the car accident occurs as part of your job. Workers’ compensation in New York covers the necessary emergency medical treatment. Meaning, so long as you require emergency care, you can go to the nearest ER and still get coverage.
Not all back injuries have visible symptoms, and not all cause pain right away. Depending on the exact type of injury, the pain could occur hours, days, or even weeks after the accident.
For instance, a study found that 72% of 161 car crash patients had moderate to severe pain during their ER visit. This means that 28% of the patients may have only developed pain after their ER evaluation. What’s more, 26% of the patients said that they still had moderate to severe pain half a year after the accident!
Disc herniation, also a common cause of back pain after a car crash, may also have delayed symptoms. One study found that 57% of auto accident patients aged 60 and above had a herniated disc. The condition was also present in 20% of patients below 60 years old.
The thing is, these patients didn’t have any initial symptoms before their diagnosis.
This is why a car accident doctor is the first person you should see after a crash, in case you didn’t go to the ER. You should see one as soon your body permits, especially if you have delayed back pain after a car accident. They will perform comprehensive diagnostic tests to pinpoint what’s causing your back pain.
Even if you had an out-patient ER evaluation, you should still consult with a car accident pain doctor. This way, you can get a second opinion from a specialist with more experience in auto crash injuries.
The first step is to get a complete check-up and diagnosis from an experienced back injury doctor who accepts no-fault insurance. From here, your doctor can begin your treatment or involve other specialists. These may include the following health care professionals.
Chiropractic treatments involve spinal manipulation and muscle stimulation. These are non-invasive procedures that can help ease not only back pain but whiplash pain too. There are also chiropractic exercises that can help your back regain its mobility.
If numbness or tingling accompanies your pain, you may have a compressed nerve. A herniated or bulging disc can be pressing against the nerve. Left untreated, compression can cause permanent damage to the pinched nerve.
If you’re experiencing these symptoms after a car crash, see a neurologist right away. Early diagnosis and treatment may help save that nerve from requiring surgery.
Thoracic spine sprains and fractures often result from high-velocity and -impact crashes. The most common symptoms of injuries to this area include lower back pain and a tight feeling in the chest. Left untreated, these injuries can cause permanent nerve damage.
Lumbar spine injuries, aside from causing back pain, can also affect your hip flexion. You may also experience a tingling sensation in the legs, or in some cases, loss of sensation. Many injuries that affect this area also lead to loss of bowel and bladder control.
It’s crucial that you see a spine surgeon if you’ve noticed these symptoms with back pain. Spinal injuries are debilitating and can even result in permanent paralysis.
Once you’ve consulted with an auto accident doctor, you should then get in touch with a personal injury lawyer. A personal injury attorney can help you process your car crash claim or lawsuit. If your accident is work-related, a workers’ comp attorney can help you file that claim.
Keep in mind that in either case, your attorney will need you to provide your medical records. Your medical records, after all, will serve as proof of your accident. This is why you should first see a doctor before you work with a personal injury lawyer.
There you have it, your ultimate guide on who to consult if you experience back pain after a car accident. Regardless of who’s at fault or where the crash happened, you should first talk to a doctor before a lawyer. Your health should always be your priority, especially since your spinal cord is at stake. Besides, you won’t be able to file a claim or lawsuit if you don’t have medical evidence.
Ready to get yourself checked by a doctor specializing in car accident injuries? Then call 1-800-897-8440 today to request an appointment now! We’ll be happy to help you choose the right doctor to see for your auto accident injuries. Same-day Appointments may be available.
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