Back Pain After a Car Accident

How Long Does Back Pain Last After a Car Accident?

Car accidents and back pain seem to go hand in hand. This is a common ailment after an accident, and you can’t help but wonder how long it will last. That depends on the cause of your back pain. Let’s look at some of the most common causes of back pain after an auto accident, along with how long each one typically lasts.

Herniated Disc

Your vertebrae are separated by discs. The discs are basically shock absorbers that cushion the spine. If your back encounters a lot of stress during the accident, you could end up with a herniated disc. A herniated disc can be quite painful, with radiating pain that makes it difficult to move.

If you have a herniated disc, you might start to feel better in a couple of weeks. Then, the pain could completely go away within six weeks. Sometimes, though, you will need to undergo treatment for your herniated disc and could even need surgery.

If the pain is severe, it’s wise to undergo an evaluation and then consider the next steps to take.

Strains or Sprains

Back sprains and strains are quite common after automobile accidents. The impact of the accident could cause you to twist or turn, stretching your tendons or muscles beyond capacity. If this happens, you’ll notice that your pain worsens when you move, and you might have muscle spasms or cramps. Your range of motion will also be impacted by a strain or sprain.

If you have back sprain or strain, the pain should go away within two weeks. In some cases, the pain lasts longer than that, and additional treatment is needed.


You might not realize that whiplash could be the cause of your back pain. Whiplash can cause pain in the upper back or neck. You should start to feel much better within a few days, and the symptoms will likely completely disappear within three months. If your pain doesn’t start to get better, though, you could have an issue with your discs or facet joints and need to visit the doctor.

After an evaluation, your pain management doctor can diagnose your condition, and then you can begin treatment. At that time, your doctor can provide you with a prognosis, so you’ll know how long to expect to feel pain. If it takes you a while to heal, you might need to begin physical therapy or chiropractic treatment.

You Don’t Have to Live With Pain

Pain might be common after a car accident, but that doesn’t mean you have to live with it for days, weeks, or months. Your pain management specialist in New York can help you manage your pain so you can live a fulfilled life while you heal from your injuries. Begin by consulting with an experienced pain management doctor near you. Get your diagnosis, and then you can start down the road to recovery. As you begin the process of healing, your doctor will also help you with the pain. Then, you won’t have to suffer any longer.

At New York Spine Specialist, we treat patients for back pain after a car accident. If you are experiencing back pain, call us to make an appointment at 516-355-0111. We are here to help and offer the right treatment for your condition.