How to Resolve Back Pain Post Car Accident


According to Driver Knowledge, there are 6 million car accidents in the United States every year and 3 million people are injured each year, which means there are a lot of Americans walking around with back injuries. Car accidents can lead to chronic pain, whiplash, bulging discs, and back strain, all of which need to be addressed at some point to continue leading a healthy and active lifestyle. Here’s the kicker though, to resolve back pain, you’re going to need to get to the source of the issue. Your pain could stem from something other than that car accident! Read on to learn more.

What Causes Back Pain Post Car Accident?

A car accident can hurt any of the 33 vertebrae, 31 nerve roots, and 32 muscles you have in your neck and back as it is a significant traumatic event. You can strain your back and experience everything from whiplash to a fracture as our backs aren’t made to absorb that type of force. The most common car accident injuries include the following: 

  • Lumbar or thoracic vertebrae fractures.

  • Back sprains and strains.

  • Whiplash.

  • Herniated or bulging discs (force of a car accident can slip a disc out of place).

  • Facet joint injury.

  • Back strain (can lead to low back pain and spasms).

Now, thoracic injuries are more serious as your upper back connects to your rib and chest where some pretty important organs are, yes, your lungs. Other injuries include soft tissue damage as well.

A car accident can also make a pre-existing injury worse as well. Back issues like disc injuries, spinal stenosis, and spinal arthritis can get worse post car-accident.

How Long Can Pain Last After a Car Accident?

Pain after a car accident can linger for up to 6 weeks or longer depending on the type of injury. You typically won’t feel much right after the accident as your body is full of adrenaline, but you will a day or so after. Also, you will probably feel sore and achy for a bit post-accident. 

Do be mindful of the pain narratives people tend to tell themselves. You may be in pain post car accident, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to do all the things you love anymore. We’ve seen many people get into a car accident and suffer some sort of back injury (including disc injuries), only to bounce right back after taking their own health and healing into their own hands. One thing that they all had in common was their decision not to continue down the pain narrative of “I can’t”.

How to Get Rid of Back Pain After the Accident 

While you should see your doctor, rest, and take some anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen, at some point you’re going to need to move forward with your life. To get rid of back pain post car accident, you’re going to need to learn how to properly strengthen your back, including all the muscles that support your spine. Did you know that most back pain is treatable? Did you also know many people have disc injuries and still do all the activities they love without pain? With the proper body alignment, body mechanics, and strengthening exercises you can learn how to get rid of your back pain FOR GOOD.

Be sure to check out our exercises on how to relieve and reduce low back pain, including how to stretch your Quadratus Lumborum (QL) and move through spinal flexion and extension. Here are some additional exercises to help you take your healing back into your own hands:

Best Exercises to Do After a Car Accident 

We’re going to focus on exercises that target the head, neck, and back as those areas are most injured in a car accident. The following exercises can help you relieve pain post car accident. If you suffered a fracture or other severe spinal cord or brain injury, we suggest speaking to a medical professional before attempting these.

1. Bird Dog

Bird Dog Exercise for Back Pain

  • Begin in a tabletop position on your hands and knees. Keep your shoulders over your wrists and your knees above your hips. 

  • Extend your right arm forward out in front of you and lift your left leg up. 

  • Keep your pelvis tucked slightly and draw your abdominals in. Hold for 30 seconds and return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

2. Seated Neck Release

Seated Neck Exercise for Back Pain

  • Sit down on the floor. Lengthen up through the top of your head and keep your body upright. 

  • Lean your right ear towards your right shoulder. Place your right palm over your left ear. Feel into the stretch and hold for 30 seconds and then switch sides. 

  • Option to go from leaning to turning your head to your shoulder to stretch into the back of your neck more.

3. Dead Bug

Dead Bug Exercise for Back Pain

  • Lie down on your back with your legs lifted and your knees directly over your hips. 

  • Extend your arms up towards the ceiling. 

  • Extend your right leg out so it’s straight while dropping your left arm overhead at the same time. Keep your right leg and your left arm a few inches off the ground. 

  • Be sure to keep your core activated and press your lower back into the ground. Hold and then return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

4. Glute Bridge with a Block 

Assisted Glute Bride Exercise for Back Pain

This is a supported version of the classic glute bridge with additional support to encourage more glute activation as many people tend to hyperextend their lower back in this pose. 

  • Lie down on your back with your feet planted, hips-width apart. Place a block in between your upper legs. 

  • Place your hands next to your sides. 

  • Lift your pelvis up towards the ceiling while pressing into your feet and squeezing your block to activate your glute muscles. 

  • Hold for about 30 seconds and then slowly lower back down to the starting position.

Getting hurt in a car accident can shake you up. Fortunately, there’s more that you can do besides rest and take some anti-inflammatory pills. Heal and get back on your feet by checking out the MoveU Membership today. Learn how to strengthen your entire body, find proper body alignment, and get rid of pain.

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