Common Neck Injuries From a Car Accident
Neck injuries from a car accident can occur immediately or within hours or days. Many people have had stiff necks in the past. However, an accident can cause severe injuries. It is important to seek medical attention immediately.
This allows doctors to assess if rest is sufficient or if more drastic measures are necessary. To be eligible for Florida benefits, you must see a doctor within 14 days after an accident. Learn about what to do after a car accident and the possible treatment options.
What Causes Neck Pain After An Auto Accident?
Your neck can suddenly jerk backward and forward during a car accident. Your neck will feel the most impact if your body is restrained by a seatbelt. Your neck may also move forcefully if you are in a collision. You may also be hit by debris, either from the inside or outside of your vehicle.
You may tighten up your muscles when you are aware of an accident. This can increase your chances of straining your muscles. This can cause damage to ligaments, muscles, discs, as well as joints, tendons, bones, and nerves.
A Car Accident Can Affect The Neck In Certain Areas
The cervical vertebra is seven small bones that make up the neck. They are located in the spinal column. Intervertebral discs separate the bones. Facet joints link the bones and allow you to pivot your head.
Your spine and neck are supported by your musculoskeletal system. Your cervical spine, or backbone, is the neck. It can be broken down into the subaxial spine (CS) and the craniocervical joint (CCJ).
The cervical discs act as shock absorbers and are often injured. Your neck contains small tissues. After a car accident, neck pain can be caused by strained, torn, or stretched cervical ligaments. There are also facets, which are joints in the neck. They control the neck’s movement and are often injured by whiplash.
Neck Injury From a Car Accident
You may feel a variety of symptoms after a collision. These could include mild pain, stiffness, nausea, and excruciating pain. You may also experience symptoms that do not appear immediately. It is not uncommon to experience delayed neck pain following a car accident. The symptoms may begin to appear in two to four weeks. A neck injury can result from a car accident and may include:
- Unable to turn your neck side-to-side
- A stiffness or heavy feeling in the neck or head
- Unable to look up and down without pain, or any other impairment
- Throbbing pain
- Nausea or dizziness
- Shooting pain
- Tenderness in the neck or back of your skull
- The feeling of fever or chills
- A pain that affects your shoulder or back
- Feeling tired and sluggish
- Your neck area may experience muscle spasms
- Memory problems
- It is difficult to fall asleep or stay focused.
- Mood changes like anxiety, irritability, or depression
- Tingling or numbness in your arms
- Blurred visions and ringing in your ears
Common Risk Factors For Neck Injuries
Trauma caused by a car accident can cause serious injury. Pre-existing conditions may contribute to or worsen neck injuries. These are some neck injury risk factors:
- Trauma or injury to the neck previously
- Trauma from high-speed crashes
- Repetitive neck movements are required for a job
- Poor posture or ergonomically-incorrect computer workstations
- Evidence of neck pain or arthritis
Treatment For Neck Pain
It is important to seek immediate medical attention if you want to avoid any long-term complications due to a neck injury. While auto accident recovery is possible within a few days, certain circumstances can prolong the treatment and recovery period such as:
- Insufficient care following a neck injury
- Neck discs, joints, and ligaments are at risk of severe damage
- A spinal fracture
- While still in recovery, you can re-injure the neck.
- Built-up inflammation
Get Help For Your Neck Pain at Florida Medical Pain Management
A car accident can be very stressful for both your physical and emotional well-being. Florida Medical Pain Management can help if you have sustained neck injuries from a car accident and get you back to a pain free lifestyle. Contact us today if you are experiencing neck pain after an auto accident.