Lower Back Pain After Car Accident: 5 Common Spinal Injuries

While numerous injuries can be sustained during car accidents, damage to the back or spinal cord can significantly impact the quality of life. Often, these injuries are easy to identify. Spinal injuries are extremely painful and can inhibit necessary functions, from walking to breathing.

If you or a loved one recently experienced a car accident and are suffering from lower back pain, we hope to help you identify your possible injury through this blog. Some of the most common spinal injuries from auto collisions include fractures, contusions, disk injuries, facet joint injuries, and whiplash.

Read along as we dive into each of the 5 common spinal injuries and the potential for spinal re-engineering to help eliminate pain and greatly improve quality of life.

Lumbar Fracture

Experiencing lower back pain after a car accident could be a result of damage to the lumbar or lumbosacral sections of the spine.

The lumbar makes up the lower back and consists of the very end of the spinal cord. The lumbosacral section consists of not only the lumbar, but also the section of the spine after the spinal cord ends, known as the sacral. This section of the back is the most vulnerable during auto accidents because it is resistant to bending and rotating between the upper and lower body. An injury to this part of the spine could cause severe pain, nerve damage, and even paralysis below the damaged area.

Since the lower back is the part of the spine that bears the most weight, harm to this section can often be the most debilitating, so it is important to treat it as quickly as possible.


Spinal contusions affect the upper part of the spine, called the cervical. When the spinal cord gets compressed against the spinal column, the spinal cord becomes bruised. We call this bruising a contusion.

Spinal contusions are often seen in contact sports, like football, swimming, or rugby, where, unfortunately, acute blows to the neck are common. Car accidents can cause comparable damage. Spinal contusions often cause acute pain. Other symptoms may include tingling, weakness, or numbness in the neck, arms, and legs.

If you think you may have sustained a spinal contusion or can relate to any of the aforementioned symptoms, seek medical assistance immediately. Of course, avoid physical activities until your symptoms are solved.

Disk Injuries

Your spinal cord is made of multiple parts, including flexible intervertebral disks positioned in between your vertebrae. These disks are made up of a solid, tough outer ring and a jelly-like center. A sudden injury, such as a car accident, can push the soft intervertebral center through the outer ring, putting excessive pressure on the spinal cord and spinal nerves.

A disk injury such as this can cause low back pain immediately. Other symptoms may include weakness or numbness in the legs and feet and sciatica, a shooting pain caused by spinal nerve pressure. A rare and more serious condition, cauda equina syndrome, shows itself in loss of bladder or bowel control.

If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical assistance immediately.

Facet Joint Injuries

Facet joints connect each of the vertebrae in your spine. These joints, like most others in your body, promote stable movement. A sustained injury can cause damage to your facet joints, causing back pain.

The additional symptoms of a facet joint injury depend on the affected spinal region. Because your facet joints are positioned down the entirety of your spine, facet joint injuries can be sustained in your cervical, thoracic, or lumbar regions.

  • Cervical facet joint injuries affect your upper spine, causing pain in the neck and shoulder region. At times, cervical injuries restrict your range of motion and cause headaches.
  • Thoracic facet joint injuries affect your midback. Once again, a restricted range of motion is common, making it difficult to turn right and left comfortably.
  • Lumbar facet joint injuries affect your low back. Pain in the lower back, buttocks, and thighs is common. Additionally, inflammation and pain can make motion difficult, especially initiating motion.

Once again, contact a medical professional if you are experiencing any of these symptoms after sustaining an injury. A series of nonsurgical treatments should relieve your pain and allow your body to begin functioning normally again.


Whiplash is a neck injury caused by rapid back-and-forth neck movement, most common in rear-end car accidents. Symptoms of whiplash often include neck pain and stiffness, fatigue, headaches, loss of range of motion in the neck, and dizziness. Other people suffer from sleep disturbances, blurred vision, and even memory problems.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, even in a mild form, see a doctor. Every person recovers from whiplash differently, and a medical professional will be able to ensure that other damage did not occur. Typically, your symptoms will subside in a matter of weeks.

What is Spinal Re-Engineering?

Spinal re-engineering is the revolutionary practice of long-term spinal healing and performance that combines chiropractic care with the principles of engineering. The 1st law of engineering states that proper structure equals proper function. Thus, if the structure of a spine is corrected, health will follow.

If the structure is ignored, only the symptoms are being treated. Among other benefits, spinal re-engineering chiropractic care decreases pain, improves immune function, improves flexibility, improves posture, increases range of motion, and corrects the biomechanics of all joints in the body.

Sciatica, lower back pain, and many of the symptoms caused by common spinal injuries – such as those discussed above – can often be rectified with this methodology.

Team Chiropractic – Spinal Re-Engineering Experts

At Team Chiro, we are passionate about offering relief from pain while solving the root issue. Severe neck and back pain are miserable and unnecessary! If you or a loved one are suffering, we are here to help. Contact us today via our online form or give us a call (Raleigh: 919.788.8881, Wakefield: 919.570.6160) to schedule your initial appointment and x-ray.

We look forward to helping restore your health.


Raleigh Office

309 West Millbrook Road
Suite 199
Raleigh, NC 27609


Monday: 7:30AM–12PM & 3PM–6PM
Tuesday: 7:30AM–12PM & 3PM–6PM
Wednesday: 7:30AM–12PM
Thursday: 7:30–12PM & 3PM–6PM
Friday: 7:30AM–12PM
Saturday & Sunday: Closed

Wakefield Office

12740 Spruce Tree Way
Suite 103
Raleigh, NC 27614


Monday: 7:30AM–12PM & 3:30–5:45PM
Tuesday: 7:30AM–12PM
Wednesday: 7:30AM–12PM & 3:30–5:45PM
Thursday: 3:30–5:45PM
Friday: 7:30AM–12PM
Saturday & Sunday: Closed

$47 New Patient Coupon