Can a Car Accident Cause a Hernia?

The most common injuries that are associated with car crashes are broken bones, head injuries, and whiplash. It makes sense that high impact collisions could cause your head, neck, and body to be jerked around, potentially causing severe damage to those parts of your body or even death.

However, there are several hidden injuries that aren’t noted after a collision because sometimes they don’t show up right away. Right after an incident, victims of car crashes are usually startled and want to get home. Sometimes, they don’t go to the hospital right away as is advised. Adrenaline kicks in, and for some victims, they may not notice their physical pain immediately.

Pain can be a result of a car accident-induced hernia, although a hernia can be asymptomatic. A hernia can disrupt the quality of your life and may eventually require medical attention.

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doctor holding a stethoscope out

What is a Hernia?

A hernia occurs when open or weak muscle walls impel fatty tissue or organs, causing a bulge or lump in the affected area. The mass that is formed may not be present all the time but can be more noticeable when coughing or straining. Some of the most common types of abdominal and leg hernias include:

  • Inguinal (groin area)
  • Incisional (surgical scar)
  • Femoral (thigh)
  • Hiatal (upper part of the stomach)
  • Umbilical (belly button)

Hernias can also occur in the back. These types of hernias are commonly referred to as herniated disks. Spinal disks have soft, jellylike centers that are encased in a tough, rubbery exterior shell. Aa disk herniates when the outer layer of the disk ruptures, allowing the soft inner cartilage to slip through and irritate nearby nerves, which can cause an immense amount of pain.

Causes of a Hernia

Often there is no apparent reason why hernias develop. There is a greater risk with age and more men than women experience them, although some children can be born with them.

Some actions and health issues that intensify pressures on worn down muscle walls include:

  • Heavy weight lifting
  • Deficient nutrition
  • Smoking
  • Physical strain
  • Being overweight
  • Constant coughing
  • Straining due to chronic constipation
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Peritoneal dialysis

These risk factors are typically dependent on where the hernia is and who it’s affecting.

Rear View Of Female Driver With Neck Injury Getting Out Of Car After Crash
Doctor examining patient suffering from whiplash's neck and brace after a car accident

What are Some Signs and Symptoms of a Hernia?

The most common symptom is a bulge where the hernia develops. If you notice a mass, keep in mind the following signs that could help indicate that you have a hernia. These include:

  • Burning sensation
  • Sharp pain
  • Tearing
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fever
  • Cramping

If these symptoms start to appear persistently, seek emergency medical attention right away as more serious health risks can occur if left untreated.

How are Hernias and Car Accidents Related?

For the most part, car accidents cause hernias in the abdominal region, which are referred to as Hiatal hernias. This typically occurs because the trauma involved destroys the muscles that hold your organs in place. The excess force that happens during a high-velocity collision can cause your seat belt to tear all muscular lining that protects your organs, causing significant destruction to the abdominal wall.

In a Hiatal hernia, a part of the stomach is pushed into the diaphragm. These can be identified through x-rays and can lead to extreme discomfort causing:

  • Heartburn
  • Acid reflux
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Vomiting

Injured parties will occasionally see black and blue bruising traces from where the seat belt was placed. Treating a Hiatal hernia depends on the severity of the symptoms, but medication will usually be given to reduce the build-up of gastric acid. At times, surgery may be essential for those who cannot heal through non-surgical methods.

woman with neck pain after car accident

Reach Out to The Barnes Firm’s Car Accident Attorneys

If you’ve been injured in a car accident and diagnosed with a hiatal hernia, a trusted car accident attorney at The Barnes Firm can help you recover compensation for your losses.

If the carelessness of someone else driving caused you any type of injury or pain, you should be given money for your losses. Our reliable attorneys are experienced in injury law with a significant track record of settlements from personal injury cases.

Reach out to The Barnes Firm to discover all the ways we can help you after you’ve been in a car accident. Complete our online contact form to schedule an appointment or call us anytime for your free consultation.

The Barnes Firm (800)-800-0000