It’s an unfortunate truth, but car accidents happen on a daily basis around the globe. They occur because of reckless drivers, distracted drivers, intoxicated drivers, and many other reasons, but the end result is always the same – vehicles are damaged and people are injured (or worse). A car accident can dramatically alter a person’s life, and if their spine is injured, it can drastically change how they live. At Colorado Spine Institute (CSI) in Loveland, we’ve treated patients who were in a car accident and who suffered a spinal injury, and our approach was always the same – to provide optimal medical care that focuses on their condition.

dreamstime_xxl_17059956Compression Fractures

If your car is rear-ended by another driver, a number of injuries can occur. While whiplash can be most common, one of the most serious injuries is a spinal compression fracture. The lower body stays immobile as the upper body is thrown forward from the impact, and vertebrae in the thoracic and lumbar spine can be pulled apart, which can result in a fracture. This not only impacts the spinal column, it can also put pressure on the spinal cord, which can result in severe pain or numbness.


Spondylolisthesis is a spinal disorder in which a vertebra slips forward onto the bone below it. This condition can be caused by a fracture or the impact of a car crash, and can cause pressure on the spinal cord. This can result in difficulty walking or standing, and may cause improper bowel or bladder control. A person who is in a car crash may not feel the effects of spondylolisthesis until weeks, months, or even years later. Following an accident, it’s important to have a thorough medical examination, including X-rays, to check for any injuries or abnormalities in the spine.

dreamstime_xxl_57641025Herniated Disc

A herniated disc occurs when the soft center of the vertebra pushes through the hard exterior. A high-speed or high-impact crash can result in a number of injuries, and herniated discs can be one of them. A person’s pain and discomfort will vary based on the extent of the injury, but no back pain should go untreated. Even the slightest twinge could be an indication of a more serious problem, and the sooner you’re examined, the sooner you can receive the proper treatment.

Facet Joint Pain

Facet joints are the joints in your spine that enable you to bend, twist, and move your vertebrae. After a car crash, you may experience pain in your neck, similar to whiplash, but the actual injury has occurred in the facet joints. Our spinal experts will be able to determine if your facet joints were affected in the crash.

Car accidents, no matter how major or minor, can result in injury. The impact they have on the spine can also be minor or major, but it’s always best to have a thorough examination following a crash. If your pain persists, it’s imperative to schedule an appointment with a spine doctor. Don’t leave anything up to chance – schedule a consultation with CSI in Loveland today.

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