Just because the car that hit you wasn’t traveling very fast doesn’t mean the pain you’re feeling is “all in your head.” Many people in Tampa dismiss injuries from low-impact collisions because they feel silly complaining about something that happened in such a minor accident, but this is a mistake. Why? Because automobiles are big, heavy objects (generally between 2,000 and 3,000 pounds), so even if someone hits you going just 10mph, that causes an impact force between 3.7 and 5.6 tons!
There have been a number of documented tests done showing that these low-impact collisions can harm the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in your back. These are considered “soft tissues” and don’t require a stronger impact for damage to be done.
Below are four ways that your back can be injured in even a low-impact crash.
Lumbar spine sprains or strains. Because this area of your back includes the strongest muscles that keep your spine stable, an injury here can be incredibly painful. Actual damage to the ligaments is called a sprain, but a strain (where muscles, tendons, or ligaments are stretched unnaturally) can also greatly limit your ability to engage in normal activities.
Thoracic spine pain. While fractures and sprains to this area are typically only caused by high-velocity impacts, accidents at lower speeds can still cause harm to the soft tissues in this area, leading to pain and soreness in your upper back, chest, and ribs.
Displaced or slipped discs. These “cushions” protect your spine and separate your vertebrae, but if one of them slips out of place due to an impact, it can press down on the spinal cord and nerves. This results in intense pain and sometimes even numbness in the legs.
Spinal cord issues. We tend to think of spinal cord injuries as something caused by very strong impacts, and in most of the worst cases, this is true. But even a low-speed crash can cause great harm if you’re hit in just the right spot. Nerves can be permanently damaged, and your spine can even be bruised.
In low-impact accidents, these types of injuries happen more often than you think. The people most susceptible include those with preexisting injuries, people in poor physical condition, and the elderly.
But even those who don’t fall into one of these categories aren’t immune, and if you feel any kind of discomfort after a crash, you owe it to yourself to make sure that nothing is wrong. Have yourself examined by a doctor, and if you discover any issues, contact a Tampa area back injury lawyer at the Rivas Law Group today at 877-299-5539.