But all too often, accident-related neck injuries are mistreated or untreated.
This leads to long-term pain, suffering, and disability for the accident victim.
This is why it is essential to know what to do to stop your neck from hurting after an accident and how to prevent further damage.
In the article below, we will discuss what you should do about your neck pain after a motor vehicle accident.
Table Of Contents
- What Happens To The Neck During a Car Accident?
- Neck Injury Signs and Symptoms
- Common Neck Injuries After A Car Accident
- How To Relieve Your Neck Pain After A Car Accident
- Schedule a Chiropractic Appointment Today
What Happens To The Neck During a Car Accident?
Your neck is a very vulnerable part of your body, but it, unfortunately, isn't very protected during a car crash.
Your body is held in place by a seatbelt, but your head and neck are unrestrained at the moment of impact.
During the impact of a collision, your neck may jerk forward and backward, side to side, or be struck by flying debris.
These sudden, rapid movements can cause serious injury to the muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, and nerves in the cervical spine.
These types of injuries are commonly known as whiplash injuries.
And if you sense an impact is coming, you will get a stiff neck because your neck muscles will tense in anticipation.
Tense muscles have less give than relaxed muscles, which causes increased muscle strain during impact.
Neck Injury Signs and Symptoms
It can take hours or days after an accident for signs and symptoms of a neck injury to appear.
That's why you should always seek medical care after an accident, no matter how you feel.
But if you notice any of the following, you need to see an accident doctor right away:
- Neck pain
- Neck stiffness
- Shoulder pain
- Pain in the arms or hands
- Tingling, numbness, or weakness in the arms, hands, and fingers
Don’t ignore any pain or other symptoms after a car crash, even if they seem minor.
Left untreated, a minor neck injury could cause chronic neck pain or other long-term complications in the future.
Common Neck Injuries After A Car Accident
Before we look at the treatments, here are a few of the most common types of neck injuries after a vehicle accident.
Whiplash Injuries and Soft Tissue Damage
Whiplash is the most common term used to describe neck pain after a car accident.
Whiplash describes several common symptoms after a high-velocity neck injury.
Auto accidents commonly result in muscle spasms, sprains, and strains.
These typically result in muscle tenderness and a decreased ability to bend or rotate your neck.
Injuries to your ligaments, tendons, fascia, or connective tissues are common after a wreck.
Stretching or tearing of these connective tissues can cause pain and, in severe cases, instability of the spine.
Facet Joint Injuries
The facet joints of your neck are commonly injured during car accidents.
These joints allow your neck to move and are susceptible to damage, especially in rear-end collisions.
Sometimes the facet joints can be dislocated, resulting in neck pain and pain that radiates to the head and shoulders.
Damage to the intervertebral discs of your neck and spine can occur after a car accident.
Slipped discs, herniated discs, or bulging discs refer to the damage to this structure.
These injuries often result in neck and arm pain, known as radiculopathy if the disc leaks or contacts an adjacent nerve.
Headaches and pain that radiates up the back of the head often occur after a neck injury.
Make sure your headaches aren't caused by a concussion or traumatic brain injury.
How To Relieve Your Neck Pain After A Car Accident
Always speak with your doctor before doing any light stretches for your neck pain after a crash.
If your doctor gives you the all-clear, the seated clasping neck stretch uses your hands to give your neck a deep stretch.
Sit comfortably crisscrossed on the floor and clasp your hands together and bring both palms and place them on the back of your head.
Press your hands on your head and push towards your thighs as you tuck your chin to your chest.
Hold for up to 30 seconds before slowly releasing the stretch.
The seated neck release is great for the sides of your neck.
Sit on the floor crisscrossed and place your right arm next to your right knee on the floor.
Now take your left hand and place it on top of your head while slowly tilting it to the left.
Use your hands to apply light pressure for a more intense stretch.
Hold for 30 seconds and slowly release, repeating on the other side.
Chiropractors are trained to treat neck pain after a car accident.
Chiropractic care and spinal manipulation treat acute and subacute neck pain.
Chiropractic manipulations can help realign the cervical spine and restore normal movement.
Spinal manipulation can also help with headaches after a car accident.
You can also use medications to treat pain after a car accident.
However, this is only a short-term option, and you shouldn't plan on taking medications for a long time.
Over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs are typically used in conjunction with other therapies and injections to accelerate healing and relief.
But again, these medications often come with adverse side effects, so they shouldn't be a long-term solution.
Schedule a Chiropractic Appointment Today
The chiropractors at Florida Spine and Injury get accident victims suffering from neck pain the medical attention they need.
We provide personalized chiropractic treatment plans to our patients based on their accident and accident injuries, improving their quality of life.
Our treatment plans will treat pain in your entire body and help ensure you don't develop chronic conditions after your wreck.
We can also refer you to a personal injury attorney to help you with your financial recovery and deal with the insurance companies.
If you're suffering from neck pain after an auto accident, call Florida Spine and Injury today to schedule a Free Consultation with one of their accident injury chiropractors.