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You will hear of more cases of someone walking away from a crash complaining of pain to the neck, or headaches, than you do of pain in the low or mid back. The reason is pretty simple. There isn’t a seat belt for your head and neck. What are common neck injuries from a crash that you can develop?
Our body is protected from what is known as Acceleration/Deceleration injuries because we have a seat belt to protect the sudden jarring that occurs in a crash. For drivers that do not wear their seat belts, the risk of injury greatly increases.So because of the lack of protection to the neck, we are prone for injury. We have all heard of whiplash, and many have experienced it. However, it is not the only injury that is possible. Because of the violent nature of a car crash, our head and neck get whipped around with such force, and so quickly that our soft tissue can’t prevent the tearing or straining that happens every time.
We walk away from a crash with a headache, or sore neck and we think that it is minor, but as time goes on, we find that the nagging soreness has turned into something a little bigger. You may also start to notice bigger symptoms such as numbness in the arm or hand. The cause of these symptoms is likely a condition called Cervical Radiculopathy, more commonly called a “Pinch Nerve”. A pinched nerve typically is a result of inflammation that puts pressure directly on the nerve. Unless there is a fracture in the bone, anatomically the bone can not actually touch the nerve. There are exceptions to that rule, such as arthritic development that grows into the opening where the nerve comes out, but exceptions are few. There can also be a stretching on the nerve due to the force involved in a crash, which can result in a “pinched nerve” symptom.
Another type of neck injuries that is common, is known as a “Sprained Neck”. Symptoms from this injury can be very similar to whiplash, but are actually from different causes. In a whiplash injury, the muscles and tendons are the victims of tearing and stretching. However, in a “sprained” neck, it is the Ligaments that have been damaged. The injury in a sprained neck is where the ligaments have been either stretched, or worse, torn. Specific testing can determine the difference between Whiplash and a Sprained Neck. Either way, the pain is there and it requires the proper treatment to eliminate or minimize it.
If you are needlessly suffering from neck pain following a car crash, and need help, contact our office and we will take care of the rest. We will develop a course of action to help you live your lifestyle once again. Contact us today! 435-674-7515