Back Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents
Anytime you ride a motorcycle your risk of injury is significantly higher than if you were in a passenger vehicle. One of the most common injuries suffered by motorcycle riders is to the back. Your back is a fragile area of your body consisting of bones, muscles, tendons, nerves and other tissues. When any part of your back is injured, the effects can be temporary, but in many cases, it is permanent.
A back injury from a motorcycle crash can involve fractures of the discs or vertebrae of the spinal cord and damage to the soft tissues.
A disc is a sponge-like cushion that separates the vertebrae and allows you flexibility. Trauma from a motorcycle accident can damage your disc causing it to break or deform. This can lead to a herniated disc where a vertebra presses on a nerve resulting in extreme pain in some cases. Other symptoms are numbness, tingling and shooting pain in the leg and down into the buttocks.
Spinal Cord Injuries
If you suffer trauma to your spine, this can damage the nerves contained within your spinal cord and disrupt the signals that are normally relayed to the brain for motor control and sensory functions. If impaired, you can experience paralysis and a lack of feeling in your limbs in the affected area and loss of function of your bladder, respiratory, bowel and sexual organs. Your paralysis can be complete or partial.
Soft Tissue Injury
Your back contains sensitive and delicate nerves, muscles and connective tissue. If rear-ended or jerked suddenly back and then forward in a whipping motion or otherwise stretched, you can damage these areas. Though most people recover after a week or a few weeks of rest, icing and heat, many continue to experience long-lasting pain. Symptoms include headaches, sleep disruption, fatigue, nausea, numbness in the hands and legs and tingling. Chiropractic treatment is a favorite treatment for those suffering soft tissue injuries that may include massage, ultrasound, icing and heat treatments along with spinal manipulation.
Because soft tissue trauma does not appear on diagnostic tests, insurers in accident claims are often skeptical of those who claim such injuries and who treat for months, running up thousands of dollars in medical and chiropractic expenses. To obtain reasonable compensation in such cases, your provider needs to be a strong advocate for you and offer supporting clinical findings and results to support your claim.
Another form of back injury is compression fractures that are tiny fractures in the bones of the spine that can lead to a collapse of the vertebrae. Symptoms of a compression fracture may include changes in posture and difficulty breathing. Elderly persons are more susceptible to compression fractures, but these are not a consequence of the aging process. Even middle-aged motorcycle riders should seek medical attention following any kind of accident if these symptoms occur to avoid developing more serious complications.