Car accidents are the cause of many types of injuries in Texas City. One area of the body many people do not think much of until it affects them is the spine. The spine has many nerves and delicate tissues connected to the rest of the body. Though vehicle manufacturers have made many improvements to safety features, they are usually not enough to keep the spine safe and stable in serious collisions.
There are many things you can do to lessen the development and severity of spinal cord injuries in car accidents, and it helps to know how to identify the signs of potential spine injuries. Here is a breakdown of the two most common types of spinal trauma that motor vehicle crashes cause.
How spinal trauma occurs
Seatbelts help to keep vehicle occupants in their seats during collisions. They do not make occupants immobile. When crashes happen, the upper and lower portions of a person’s body are forcefully thrown in different directions, causing the spine to withstand trauma from the unnatural bending, stretching, tearing and straining of muscles, ligaments and nerves in the neck, back and spine. Some injuries are noticeable immediately. Others can take longer to show up.
Whiplash is common in rear-end car accidents. In a collision, the head and neck are thrown back and forth like a whip. Pain and stiffness of the neck, head and back, as well as blurriness, fatigue, headaches and dizziness, are indicative of whiplash and might not show up until several hours after the incident. Also, it is not uncommon for accident victims who suffer whiplash injuries to experience changes in mood and personality and experience tinnitus and trouble concentrating.
The spine bears most of the brunt of impact in motor vehicle collisions, making it easier for it to sustain an injury in a car accident. Disc herniation occurs when there is so much force that it pushes flexible portions of the discs out of position and presses them against and through the hard portions of the spine, causing injury to the nerves and pressing the soft tissue through the hard parts of the spine. Disc herniations often cause extreme pain and numbness that radiates outward from the afflicted area.
Regardless of the year or make of your vehicle, drive responsibly. Always stay alert to avoid hazards and potential collisions. The fewer car accidents you have, the better your chances of keeping your spine intact.