The neck is one of the most fragile parts of the human body. It consists of seven tiny bones – the vertebrae – encasing the spinal cord, muscles and two critical blood vessels supplying blood to the brain – the carotid arteries. As a consequence, neck injuries sustained in a car accident can be extremely severe, even life threatening. The doctors at our South Carolina injury center have treated patients with a wide range of such injuries.
We also know just how important is receiving proper medical care as soon as possible after your accident. In many situations, you may not be aware just how severely injured you are. Emotional shock and the surge of adrenaline prevent you from feeling pain. But, if you delay seeking medical care, your condition can soon turn from stable to critical. Also, even if your neck injuries are not life threatening, you may be unable to prove that the accident is the source of your injuries in a personal injury claim.
Neck Injuries Have a Wide Range of Symptoms
As we will explain below, a car accidents result in many types of neck injuries. As a result, injured persons experience several symptoms, some of them in apparently unrelated parts of the body.
Patients who seek medical care for their neck injuries at our South Carolina injury center can experience symptoms such as:
- Stiff neck, inability to turn the head from side to side
- Blurred vision
- Dizziness or nausea
- Muscle spasms
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Numbness or tingling in the arms
- Pain when trying to look up or down.
Risk Factors for Severe Neck Injuries
Some people have an increased risk of suffering severe injuries to the neck in a motor vehicle accident. Some of the most important risk factors are:
- Poor posture while working on the computer
- Previous injury to the neck
- Jobs requiring repetitive neck movements
- Sex – women are more at risk to suffer whiplash than men
- Age – older people are more at risk.
These Are the Most Common Neck Injuries Caused by a Car Accident
Over the years, our doctors treated accident victims suffering from the following types of neck injuries:
1. Slipped Disc
Discs are jelly-filled cushions situated between vertebrae to prevent friction and allow mobility. The sudden force of a car accident can cause one of these discs to slip out of position, rupture or bulge. Any of these issues causes pain and numbness, either as a result of the injury itself or s a result of a pinched nerve. In most of the cases, side-impact accidents result in slipped discs.
In most of the cases, chiropractic other minimally invasive procedures can restore the disc to its proper position. Our doctors will make the best decision for your health, safety and comfort.
2. Facet Joint Injuries
The facet joints allow you to move your head and neck. The trauma of a car accident can cause these joints to become inflamed and irritated. This is a painful condition, especially when you try to move your head from side to side. Medication, injections and chiropractic manipulation can make the inflammation subside and restore the full range of neck movements.
3. Cervical Spondylolisthesis
This long and complicated name defines the injury occurring when the vertebrae in your neck become dislocated or slip out of alignment. This is one of the neck injuries that can have severe consequences if left untreated.
The main symptom of cervical spondylolosthesis is pain radiating from the neck to the head and the shoulders.
4. Neck Sprains and Strains
While these two types of neck injuries appear similar, they are actually different in terms of severity. A neck strain is damage to the tendons that connect the bones to the muscles. By contrast, a sprain represents complete rupture (tearing) of these ligaments and surrounding soft tissues.
Depending on the severity of the injury, you may require surgery. Otherwise, our doctors will help you heal using minimally invasive procedures and pain medication to help you cope during the recovery period.
5. Pinched Nerve
Nerves in the spinal cord can get pinched as a result of car accidents, when discs, vertebrae and tendons are violently moved out of place. This results in severe pain, as well as numbness and tingling.
Thankfully, many neck injuries, including a pinched nerve, can be resolved through chiropractic care. Neck adjustments can restore the normal placement of the dislocated vertebrae or disc, releasing the pressure on the nerve. This is one of the benefits of choosing our South Carolina injury center – a safe, non-invasive and drug-free therapy for this and many other injuries.
6. Muscle Spasms
Muscle spasms and cramps are a symptom of overstretched muscle fibers in your neck. Your body tries to protect these muscles by causing them to tighten and loosen in rapid succession, and this is why you experience the spasms.
Anti-inflammatory medication, as well as physical therapy can help your neck muscles heal.
7. Neck Fracture or Compression
This is by far one of the worst types of neck injuries you can suffer in a car accident. It is a potentially fatal type of injury, so emergency care immediately after the accident is mandatory. Most certainly, you will require surgery at the site of broken or compressed vertebrae. Some patients are left with a permanent disability – paralysis.
Pain management is very important in this situation, as you are faced with a long and complex recovery period. As soon as you doctor allows you to leave the hospital, the team at our South Carolina injury clinic will be happy to evaluate your case and prepare a treatment and pain management plan for you.
If Your Neck Injuries Are Not Severe, Come Directly to Our Injury Center!
Injury Medicine is available 24/7 and able to offer you same-day or next day appointments to evaluate and treat your neck injuries. We can also assist you by referring you to a personal injury lawyer if you need help to file a claim after your car accident.
Our doctors are experienced and compassionate and put your wellbeing at the center of everything we do. We will make sure that you are comfortable during the treatment and we will explain every procedure to you. Call us now and book your first appointment with one of our doctors as soon as possible after your accident: 864-866-PAIN!