Common back injuries caused by motor vehicle collisions

When your vehicle comes to an abrupt and violent stop in a motor vehicle collision, your body continues to move until it hits something that stops it, often resulting in injuries.

There are several types of back injuries that people can suffer in a motor vehicle collision resulting in moderate to severe injuries and lasting pain.

Sprains and strains

When the tendons and ligaments that support the bones in your back stretch too far, they can become damaged resulting in a sprain or strain. These injuries are common in a car accident because of the violent way your body moves on impact.


A flexion fracture is the break or tear of a vertebra. A compression fracture is when bones break or crack from too much pressure. In a burst fracture, parts of the vertebrae in your spine become crushed in multiple locations, often causing bone fragments to scatter.

Disc injuries

The discs in your back that cushion the vertebra can move out of place, herniate, tear or rupture from the force of a car accident. When this happens, the disc can press on your nerves causing numbness, tingling, burning or weakness that spreads beyond your back across your body. A disc injury can cause discomfort that makes everyday tasks like sitting, moving, reaching, bending or twisting difficult or impossible to do.


Spondylolisthesis is when a vertebra moves out of place due to a stress fracture in your spine. The vertebra slips forward causing pain along your spine and lower back.

Back injuries from motor vehicle collisions can lead to medical expenses as well as lost wages if you cannot work. Seek medical attention after a car accident and follow through with medical advice and subsequent appointments. Your medical records will be helpful in pursuing litigation or an insurance claim for recovery.