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The Different Types of Car Accident Neck Injuries, Explained

Neck Injury

20-50 million people become disabled or injured from car accidents every year. If you are wondering what typical car accident neck injuries are, we can help.

In this guide, we’ll go over common neck injuries after a car accident that people experience.

What Can Happen to the Neck?

Your neck is vulnerable and isn’t well-protected during a crash. Your body does get held by a seatbelt, but your neck and head aren’t restrained during the impact.

During the crash, your neck might get jerked to one side or back and forth. Some people get hit with debris.

Sudden movements can damage tendons, joints, nerves, muscles, and ligaments in your cervical spine.

Some people will sense the crash before it occurs, and they end up tensing their bodies. Your muscles won’t be relaxed and have less give, leading to an increased strain.

Common Symptoms or Signs of a Neck Injury

It could take a couple of days after the accident before you begin to notice symptoms or signs. Then you will know that something might be wrong with your neck.

If you experience headaches, tingling in your arms, or neck stiffness, see a doctor.

You’ll also want to watch out for pain radiating to your hands, arms, or shoulders. Watch out for dizziness as well.

Make sure you don’t ignore your pain after a crash. If you don’t treat your neck injury, you could end up with chronic pain or complications later on.

Facet Joint Injury

The facet joints in your cervical spine help with mobility. They also help with neck and head stabilization. A car collision impact could irritate or inflame the facet joints.

Collisions also can damage surrounding ligaments. You may have noticed your range of motion has become affected.

What About Whiplash?

A common neck injury after a car crash is whiplash. If your neck and head jerked forward and backward suddenly, you could have a whiplash injury.

The sudden movement can damage or strain muscles, nerves, connective tissues, or ligaments.

A rear-end crash is one of the most common types of accidents to cause a whiplash injury. Symptoms tend to be present right away or a couple of hours after this kind of crash.

If you seek early treatment, you can get treatment and heal in a couple of weeks.

People might experience memory problems or headaches. Others have chronic pain for a couple of months or years after the crash.

Neck Fracture

A neck fracture is a significant injury that will cause intense pain. You will know if you had a fracture after a car crash right away.

If you suspect you might have a fracture, make sure you don’t move. A wrong move could end up injuring your spinal cord, leading to paralysis.

Damage to Soft Tissue

A car crash can end up spraining, straining, or tearing the muscles, tendons, or ligaments in your neck.

Soft tissue damage causes stiffness or pain in your shoulders and neck area.

If you have a muscle strain, you will have less movement in your neck and might suffer from muscle spasms.

Herniated or Slipped Disc

High-impact collisions will cause intervertebral discs in your cervical spine to move. They can shift out of place from between the vertebrae.

After this happens, the injured disc will compress nerves in your spinal cord.

A pinched nerve will cause tingling, numbness, or pain in the shoulders, neck, fingers, and hands.

Lacerations and Cuts

During a car accident, objects, glass, or debris could hit your neck. You might end up with lacerations, bruising, or cuts.

A deep laceration could damage the tendons and ligaments in your neck.

What About Long-Term Problems?

If you leave a neck injury untreated, you could end up with chronic problems later on in life.

Whiplash is a misdiagnosed injury. A lot of people suffer from whiplash-associated disorders (WAD) for years after a car crash.

WAD includes headaches, mental health disorders, chronic back pain, or neck pain.

Neck injuries cause long-term complications and symptoms if not treated and diagnosed early.

Chronic pain from a neck injury will impact your ability to focus on work. You might find it challenging to perform household duties and sleep at night.

Seek Treatment for Your Neck Injury

To avoid long-term disability or pain, make sure you get medical attention right away.

See a medical professional even if you aren’t experiencing symptoms or pain any longer. Some symptoms won’t show up until a few days later or weeks even.

Find a suitable medical doctor who can provide care for you. You want someone experienced with diagnosing, treating, and identifying car crash injuries.

Look for a specialist who will help with the treatment of accident injuries. Ask for recommendations from your network. Someone might know a doctor who has a lot of experience treating neck injuries.

Do you need legal advice regarding your situation? Learn more if you were in a car accident.

Now You Know More About Car Accident Neck Injuries

We hope this guide on common neck injuries after a car accident was helpful. See your family doctor and get medical treatment right away.

Remember these different car accident neck injuries. You don't want to end up with a chronic condition because you didn't seek treatment.

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