The forces involved in a car accident can result in injuries to any part of the body, but certain areas are more vulnerable than others for harm. Among commonly injured body parts is the spinal column and the tissue surrounding it, manifesting itself in neck and back injuries. While the nature of a specific injury may vary, the pain caused by them are often the same and regularly severe.
The spine is commonly divided into sections to describe the portion of the spine involved. The cervical spine begins at the base of the neck and extends for seven bones, or vertebrae, down to the upper back. Below the cervical spine is the thoracic spine, the portion of the backbone that stretches from the upper back to the lower middle back and is made up of 12 vertebrae. The lower spine is called the lumbar spine and it begins immediately after the thoracic spine and extends for five vertebrae and ends at the sacrum, a portion of the spine that incorporates five fused vertebrae and that connects the spinal column to the hip bones.
The vertebrae that comprise the spine have a hollow center which allows for passage of the spinal cord, a bundle of nerves that is responsible for transmitting information from the brain to most parts of the body and back. It is critically important that the spine maintains its integrity so that the spinal cord maintains protected. Any disruption to this part of the body can cause serious harm, including paralysis, and may even cause death.