Many people live with some measure of back pain on a daily basis. We get up in the morning and feel the need to stretch or bend in an effort to “get the kinks” out of our backs. Some, have experienced spinal injuries to their bodies. Others simply experience degenerative conditions that impact them physically. It is important to understand how degenerative conditions are impacted when a new trauma is inflicted, like a car accident or even a slip and fall.
Most victims of motor vehicle collisions are not sure whether they have a claim as they have pain afterward, but acknowledge that they had pain prior to it as well. Or they have been told that they have “degenerative” changes, and so they are not sure whether the pain is a result from the collision, or rather from this “degenerative” condition.
It is important to understand the dynamics of back pain following a collision as many fail to get the medical attention they need due to a lack of information. Recognizing that a history of degenerative back injuries can be seriously amplified following a car wreck is a critical matter to understand. Often our clients find their pain is more intense following a collision. It's natural to wonder whether this pain is simply a degenerative condition once again rearing it's ugly head or if it was actually a result of the traumatic personal injury incident. Victims need to know that there are pain generating structures in their spinal column and surrounding musculature, and one of the most commonly injured structures after a car collision is the intervertebral disc. How degenerative backs impact that intervertebral disc is critical into truly understanding back pain.
Can A Tramautic Accident Cause Even More Damage To Your Back And Spine?
In a 2007 study By M. A. Edgar M.D., found in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Dr. Edgar studied the anatomical foundation of the lumbar spine, nerves and degenerative changes. He found that sensory nerve endings in degenerative lumbar discs run deep, but are often insensitive with respect to causing daily pain. What they have is deep running nerve structures that surround and supply each intervertebral disc of the back. The problem becomes that when a traumatic event is introduced to these deep running, degenerative, nerve endings. While they are often insensitive due to daily routines and living, when they are impacted by a trauma, Dr. Edgar found that they experience a ‘visceral pain’ reaction.
This reaction gets created and transmitted throughout the lumbar region, even though it may only be coming from one impacted intervertebral disc. Dr. Edgar noted that, “when a patient gets injured as a result of a traumatic event, not only can the disc produce pain at the point of the injury, but the deep running nerve endings will also effect the extremities, and even an entire region of the body.” Dr. Edgar’s findings demonstrate that degenerative nerves can actually increase the pain reaction that a damaged intervertebral disc experiences from a traumatic event. So while a car collision may impact a single disc in the spine, the increased visceral pain reaction from the degenerative nerves, can actually manifest itself in other areas of the body that the victim does not associate with the collision itself.
Understanding that a degenerative change in the back can actually make you more susceptible to pain is important in treating that pain following a motor vehicle collision. Experiencing a rear end collision that impacts the lumbar back and yet results in leg or hip pain, is actually not uncommon. Yet many victims are left wondering why is that pain found in that area. As we study and better understand the nerve supply structures of the lumbar spine, doctors can better address that pain, and treat victims. Having degenerative lumbar conditions does not mean that you cannot be seriously injured in a motor vehicle collision, or recover for your damages. It does not mean that you have to live with pain because you have “degenerative conditions”. No, the issue can be that you are actually more susceptible to physical pain, because of those conditions. You always want to treat with a doctor who understands the most current and scientific explanations of spine anatomy and pain patterns. When you're treated by such a doctor, you will not experience someone who merely scratches their head trying to figure out why you are experiencing the pain you have.
Do You Have Existing Back Pain That Has Worsened Following An Accident?
If you have an pre-existing degenerative back condition and have been involved in an accident you need to speak with an experienced spine injury attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call us directly at 866.299.0558 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation.