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Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP

Back Pain After a Car Accident

Understanding Different Types of Back Pain After a Car Accident

After a car accident, most people suffer some type of pain. Among the most common areas affected are the neck, back, and shoulders. The reason is fairly simple to understand. When you are traveling inside of a vehicle and the vehicle comes to an abrupt stop by striking another object, bodies inside of the vehicle do not stop. You continue to thrust in the same direction you were traveling and your body strikes parts of the car’s interior, your muscles are shaken and violently rattled back and forth, and soft tissue inside your joints may become injured.

Experienced NYC auto accident lawyers see the effects of soft tissue and ligament damage every day. Many clients experience lasting pain from their collisions, for months or even years after a crash. So, how do you classify and distinguish the types of back pain or sources of pain that you are suffering?

 General Classification of Back Pain After an Auto Wreck

 As a general matter, back pain is usually broken down into three categories:

  • Acute injury: This is an injury that occurs as a result of a specific, identifiable trauma, such as a fall or car accident. It typically will heal when the underlying problem is fixed. Pain lasts a few days to a few weeks, on average.
  • Sub-acute injury: Also often caused by a specific event, a sub-acute injury typically lasts longer and requires more care, such as physical therapy. Pain lasts a few weeks to about three months, on average.
  • Chronic: Chronic pain is something that will last for the remainder of your life or until a necessary surgery or other corrective procedure or treatment is implemented. Chronic pain may require steroid injections, nerve blocks, surgery, orthotic devices, or long term physical therapy and rehabilitation. Many times, chronic pain is not curable, but can only be treated.


It is also worth mentioning that some back pain may not actually be due to a back injury. Perhaps the most common auto accident injury is whiplash. This is a term used to define injuries to soft tissue structures of the neck and cervical spine, caused by a rapid back and forth motion of the head. This can cause painful inflammation, irritation, and a constant ache. While most pain is in the neck, it can also radiate and lead to pain in your upper back and shoulders.

It is also frequently accompanied by:

  • Headaches
  • Dizzy spells
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Cramping
  • Sharp or dull pain between the shoulder blades
  • Limited mobility of neck and shoulders

What to do if You Have Chronic Pain After a Car Accident

The most important thing to remember about pain is that it interferes with more than just your physical sensations. It interferes with mood, as it can result in depression and irritability. It affects with family life, as it may diminish the quality of your time with those you love. Finally, pain can lead to difficulty keeping a job and maintaining financial stability.

If you have suffered a serious injury that left you with unresolved chronic pain, you should make sure to speak with a Long Island personal injury attorney before accepting a settlement from an insurance company. You may be entitled to significant monetary compensation that can help with the cost of future therapy, medical care, medications, and even lost wages. Call Cohen & Jaffe, LLP to speak with an accident attorney about your case. The consultation is free, so you have nothing to lose.




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