Assessing the full extent of an injury following a motorcycle accident isn’t easy. The body tends to swell and pain management kicks in. These basic physiological responses hide deeper injury and sometimes lead to chronic issues.
Neck and Back Issues After a Motorcycle Accident
The spinal column, brain stem, and brain control diffuse processes. Any injury to them creates an opportunity for secondary injury to occur. Neck and back injuries also take longer to recover from simply because the areas are rarely truly at rest.
Nearly half of all back injuries lead to significant consequences including surgery and even death. Fortunately, only 15 percent of motorcycle accidents result in injuries to the neck and back.
Severe consequences, difficulty in detection, and delay before onset of issues creates a nasty situation. To combat this, motorcycle accident victims need to push for comprehensive assessments. The sooner an issue is detected, the more likely the road ends with recovery. If you need help getting your medical situation sorted, speak to an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer.
What kinds of long-term injuries are common after a motorcycle accident?
Onto the specifics. Neck and back injuries belong to the category of musculoskeletal injuries. Issues are not limited to either the muscles or the bones but extend to nerve damage as well.
- Bones – Broken bones heal slowly. Some require extensive surgical work and the installation of pins and plates to repair.
- Muscles – Deep tissue damage impairs mobility. Soft tissue damage heals more quickly but is often painful. Tendons and ligament damage can require surgery to correct.
- Nerves – Nerve damage includes chronic pain along with partial, and complete, paralysis. Even when a limb is not disabled, nerve damage hastens and exaggerates any further damage.
- Displacement – This covers whiplash and disc damage. While not as severe as a full break or rupture, these injuries are often recurring. Chronic pain and intermittent mobility issues from flare ups and shifts persist long after the initial injury.
Of course, the best way to avoid injury is to not get into an accident. 🙂 This isn’t always possible; accidents are unexpected occurrences and every rider knows that you can’t control the idiot cagers out there. Fortunately, many steps to prevent accidents also lead to less damage if it happens.
Can long-term injuries be prevented?
Preventing damage to the neck and back caused by a motorcycle accident is impossible. However there are a few things that riders can do to help avoid severe or lingering injuries. Smart prevention comes in three forms:
- Awareness – Avoid bad weather and poor road conditions. Stay aware of other motorists. Ride defensively and operate within your skill level.
- Protective gear – Helmets, boots, jackets, and pants all do their part to reduce injury.
- Maintenance – Keep your bike in good condition. Check your bike before a ride for issues with wheels, brakes, and lights.
Of course, even if you do everything you can think of, long-term injuries after a motorcycle accident are all too common.
What about after the accident?
Following an accident, being evaluated for injury is paramount. Medical professionals and emergency responders work from the obvious to the less obvious in the aftermath. While you might be cleared medically or released from a hospital, this only means you aren’t in immediate danger.
Opting for more detailed testing helps you get in front of potential issues. Even in the case of a minor accident, you want to document everything you can. This helps you to establish a timeline for injury and to establish fault. Even if you don’t want to pursue a case, you want to have an accurate picture of events.
If you feel the accident was the fault of others and want to pursue compensation for injuries and lost wages, the sooner you start the speedier your financial and medical recovery.