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Can a car accident cause a pinched nerve injury?

Updated: Mar 8, 2023

A pinched nerve occurs when a nerve is compressed or damaged by surrounding tissues, such as bones, muscles, or tendons. This compression can cause a range of symptoms, including pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness, in the affected area. Pinched nerves can occur anywhere in the body, but they are most common in the neck and lower back.

If you have been in a car accident and gotten injured, the first place your mind goes to when thinking of an injury is a broken bone, whiplash, or just simple cuts and bruises. Although, what you may not realize is that an accident can actually cause nerve damage.


A pinched nerve is another common injury that occurs after a car accident. This may seem like a more mild form of an injury, but the pain involved can be quite severe. Especially since nerves take a long time to heal. In fact, nerves heal about 1 inch per month, which means it will take a long time to heal.


What is a Pinched Nerve?

A pinched nerve happens when pressure builds up on a specific nerve that is surrounded by muscles, tissues, bones, or tendons. These injuries can be very painful and, if not properly handled, can get worse. Therefore, it is important to get checked out by a medical professional if you feel like a pinched nerve is an injury that occurred. That professional will be able to accurately asses what the injury is and start proper treatment.


Where can a pinched nerve occur?

Pinched nerves can occur at any spot in the body that nerves are located. Not to mention the pain can radiate from the nerve outward due to it being an interconnected system in the body. The pain can be felt in any of the following areas:

  • Neck

  • Back

  • Hands

  • Wrists

  • Legs

  • Feet

What can cause a Pinched Nerve?

Nerves play a big role in our bodies and send messages throughout the body by electrical impulses from the brain onwards. When nerves get damaged, the system becomes somewhat blocked and can slow other bodily processes. That means your usual daily processes can be disturbed. The body has many different nerves with different functions. For example, our motor nerves allow us to move, whereas sensory nerves send messages back to the brain to tell us things, such as if something hot or cold.


How does a car accident specifically cause a pinched nerve?

After a car accident, different types of nerves can be pinched depending on the impact. Whiplash, for example, can involve nerve damage near the head and the neck, or a severe enough laceration can damage nerves near the injury. The impact can also lead to compressed nerves. Any part of your body that is hit against a hard surface could have suffered nerve damage from the force itself.


What are some Signs of a Pinched Nerve?

If you do not immediately feel an injury after an accident, it does not always mean you aren't injured. It can take a few hours or even days for you to feel anything since your adrenaline is so high. No matter what happens in this case, it is important to seek help from a doctor, they will be able to identify any injuries you may have or if you have any pinched nerves.


Pain is common after a crash and can come from a number of injuries, including a pinched nerve. A pinched nerve or damage to the nerves can come with a numbness, tingling, or pain from movement. Some of these symptoms may come and go rather than just being a consistent pain. Over time, if not properly cared for, the sensation felt could get worse. This type of injury can also cause some twitching or spasming. The area in which the nerve is injured can be very sensitive, especially to extreme temperatures and pressures.


Nerve damage after an accident is mostly found in the lower or middle back, neck and shoulders, hands, and feet. Nerve damage rarely has physically visible markers which means it is extremely important to pay attention to how all parts of the body feel.


How do doctors find out if you have a pinched nerve?

Doctor's will complete a thorough physical analysis of you and be able to indicate where the pain is stemming from exactly. They will do numerous movement tests in their initial assessments. If you experience pain doing any of those exercises, that narrows the doctor's list as to which nerves are involved.


Then the doctor may want to do some imaging tests, such as X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs. Your doctor also could decide to use a nerve conduction test or electromyography, which measures electrical signals in the body using electrodes.


How do you Treat a Pinched Nerve?

If you have recently been in a car accident and think you may be suffering from a pinched nerve, you will want to contact a specialist that deals with these kinds of incidents. They will be able to properly asses the situation and help you with proper treatment.


You don't have to live with the pain of a pinched nerve or hope for it to resolve itself. If you suffered from a pinched nerve injury from a negligent driver, you should contact a personal injury attorney to assist with your case. They will help walk you through every step of the way and ensure that you are cared for. So call our accident attorneys today for a free consultation.

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