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Common spinal cord injuries after a vehicle accident

On Behalf of | Apr 2, 2021 | Car Accidents

A vehicle accident in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, can cause many injuries ranging from mild to serious regardless of speed. More serious injuries relate to the spinal cord, because it houses the pathway for the brain and body to communicate. Vehicle occupants may experience several kinds of spinal cord injuries.


Whiplash is a common spinal injury occurring mostly from rear-end collisions. The impact jerks the head harshly back and forth, which throws the muscles and ligaments out of alignment. Sometimes, people may not think they were injured, because adrenalin keeps the symptoms dormant.

Some common symptoms include decreased motion in the neck, neck pain, fatigue, spasms, arm tingling, numbness, dizziness, blurred vision, headaches especially at the skull base, and muscle weakness in the injured area. Whiplash commonly heals on its own in several weeks or months, but some victims could experience lingering symptoms.

Herniated disc

A herniated disc occurs when the discs, which act as shock absorbers, protrude through the spine. This often causes intense pain because of punched nerves, and some drivers don’t experience initial pain.

Common symptoms include being unable to walk short distances without pain, arm or leg tingling or numbness, radiating pain between shoulders and lower back, and pain when moving in certain positions. Most herniated discs heal within six months, and some doctors may prescribe medication or physical therapy.

Fractured vertebrae

The spinal column consists of 33 bony spool-shaped vertebrae that help the body stand straight. A fractured vertebrae differs from broken arms and legs, because bones fragments may pinch spinal nerves, making bending difficult.

While fractures may occur on any region of the spinal columns, the majority of fractures occur in the lower back. Some symptoms include inability to control bowels or bladder, numbness or tingling, muscle spasms, pain that worsens with movement, balance issues, and paralysis in the worst cases. Spinal fractures commonly heal on their own with treatment, and some need surgery.

Car accidents often change the life of an injured vehicle occupant. Victims may seek compensation from the drivers whose negligence caused the crash.