Human spine anatomyWhiplash and its associated disorders are some of the most common medical conditions that arise from car crashes. In many cases, whiplash causes chronic pain that may last for many months, as any Chicago car accident lawyer would note.

According to the New York University Spine Center, recovery from such injuries will take up to six months for 23 percent of patients and a year or longer for an additional 13 percent. In addition to the commonality of chronic pain, treatment for this condition may be quite expensive for victims.

Causes of chronic pain

The North American Spine Society explains that many car accident victims suffer from whiplash-related conditions that cause persisting pain. These include:

  • Facet joint pain – the most common source of chronic neck pain in car accident victims
  • Compression of spinal nerves – may lead to neck and arm pain
  • Muscular strain – may arise as a secondary injury, caused by the body’s over-taxation of muscles in an effort to protect discs, nerves or joints that were damaged in an accident
  • Torn discs– these injuries may be especially problematic if they do not heal quickly, as a torn disc may become weaker and more stressed as time goes on, resulting in chronic neck pain

Diagnosing these injuries may involve numerous costly tests such as x-rays, MRI scans, CT scans and EMB/NCV tests.

Serious treatments may be required

Addressing whiplash and its related conditions may involve treatments such as prolonged immobilization, analgesic use, spinal injections and extensive physical therapy. If these options do not provide adequate results, patients may find it necessary to endure more serious and invasive medical interventions, such as back surgery.

Associated expenses may be addressed through litigation

The medical treatments described above often become quite costly, and even those patients with insurance coverage may struggle under the financial burden of paying for them. Further compounding the problem is the fact that chronic pain may result in a person’s inability to work, which can in turn lead to a serious reduction in income.

Given the potential invasiveness and high costs of the treatments required for persistent pain from whiplash, those who have been in a car accident may find it beneficial to seek immediate assistance from both medical and legal professionals. Doing so may place these victims in a better position to obtain compensation, should their accident leave them with a chronically painful neck or back injury. Anyone who has been in an accident and would like to learn more about available legal options may want to discuss their circumstances with a Chicago car accident lawyer.

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