Most of us are familiar with whiplash. It’s a common term used to describe a neck injury, usually as a result of a car crash. The tendons and ligaments in the neck can be strained after a sharp jerking motion either forwards or backwards, but it’s not the only neck injury a car crash can inflict. Below are some common neck injuries, other than whiplash, you may not be aware could be caused by a car crash.
Broken bones are always a risk in car crashes, and the bones in and around the neck can be particularly vulnerable to fractures and breaks, depending on the severity of the car crash, where the person was sitting relative to the impact, whether they were wearing their seatbelt, etc. Fractures and breaks to bones in the head and face, as well as the collarbone, are all unfortunately common in car crashes.
The neck, along with the rest of the spine, is made up of a series of discs, one or more of which can be shoved out of alignment as a result of the excessive force that can result from a car crash. Discs that are bulging, slipped, herniated, or ruptured can be extremely painful and even impair movement. These back and neck injuries often need surgery to correct, which comes with its own risks, not to mention costs.
Acute Mechanical Back and Neck Pain
In addition to the spinal discs, the joints, vertebrae, and soft tissue around them (such as the muscles, tendons and ligaments that help keep the neck and back upright) are all subject to damage in a car crash. These can lead to musculoskeletal injuries, which can be extremely painful, limit movement and quality of life, and could end up requiring surgery to correct.
It’s important to remember that just because you feel fine immediately after a car crash doesn’t mean you haven’t been injured. Some back and neck injuries can take days to manifest, so if you experience any of the following symptoms in the days following a car crash, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor, and be sure to mention the car crash when describing your symptoms.
- Pain in the neck, back, shoulders, and/or head
- Pain that gets worse with physical activity or movement
- Limited range of motion
- A grinding feeling and/or sound when you try to move that part of your body
- A bump or a raised or misshapen area on or near the injury
- Bruising, redness and/or swelling on the injury or the surrounding area
Be sure to document any symptoms or strange or unusual sensations you might have shortly after being in a car accident. Keep a journal where you keep track of all these sensations and whether they move or change in any way, especially if they get worse. Most of all, seeing a doctor as soon as possible is of the utmost importance so you can be sure to treat the injury (or injuries) as quickly and efficiently as possible, rather than waiting until they’re out of control.
Your next phone call should be to a qualified personal injury attorney who can help make sure you are properly compensated, not only for your medical bills, but for the costs of the pain and suffering you incurred as a direct result of the car crash. Someone was at fault and we can help hold them responsible.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or some other type of accident, you need the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer.