Have you ever been in a car accident and felt sore for days afterwards? Chances are, your neck might have taken the brunt of the force.
We all know that car accidents can be serious, and neck injuries are one of the most common types of injuries that occur. But what is the most common neck injury in a car accident and do you need a car accident chiropractor for treatment? That’s what we’re about to find out! Keep reading to learn more about neck injuries and how to prevent them.
The most common type of neck injury in a car accident is whiplash. Whiplash occurs when your head moves suddenly and violently forward and backward, causing damage to the soft tissues in your neck. It can be caused by anything from a rear-end collision to an animal jumping into your path while you’re driving.
Whiplash isn’t always easy to spot right away because symptoms may not appear until days or even weeks after the accident. Symptoms of whiplash can range from soreness and stiffness in the neck to headaches, blurred vision, dizziness, and memory problems.
This is why it’s important for people involved in a car accident to seek medical attention as soon as possible after an accident, even if they don’t think they have been injured. A car accident chiropractor can conduct tests to detect any underlying issues that could have been caused by the accident.
Fortunately, there are ways you can reduce your risk of experiencing whiplash during an accident. Wearing a seatbelt is one of the best ways to protect yourself in case of an auto collision; this will help keep you secure within the vehicle so that your body does not experience any sudden jolts or movements that could cause whiplash or other injuries.
Additionally, leaving enough room between cars on the road will give you extra time to react if another vehicle begins swerving or braking unexpectedly.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Another common type of neck injury that can occur in car accidents is spinal cord injuries (SCIs). SCIs can range from mild forms such as sprains and strains to more serious forms such as fractures, dislocations, and paralysis.
The severity of an SCI depends on how much damage has been done to your spine as well as how it was injured in general. SCIs usually result from either direct blows or indirect forces such as those experienced during whiplash-type injuries.
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries can be classified as either complete or incomplete. A complete SCI results in total paralysis below the site of injury, while an incomplete SCI allows for some degree of sensation and movement below the site of injury.
In addition, SCIs are divided into four levels—cervical, thoracic, lumbar and sacral—depending on where they occur along the spine.
Managing Spinal Cord Injuries
The management process for a spinal cord injury involves both short-term strategies to stabilize the patient’s condition and long-term strategies to improve their quality of life.
Short-term strategies include pain control, wound care, bladder/bowel management, respiratory care, nutritional support and prevention of secondary complications such as blood clots or infections.
Long-term strategies involve physical therapy for body function recovery as well as lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking or adapting home furniture for wheelchair accessibility. Additionally, depending on its severity, a SCI may require medical equipment such as wheelchairs or braces for mobility assistance.
The third most common type of neck injury that can occur in a car accident is cervical radiculopathy (or pinched nerve). Cervical radiculopathy occurs when there is pressure on one or more nerves leading out from your spinal cord at any level in your cervical spine (neck).
This pressure can cause pain which radiates down into one arm or both arms while also causing muscle weakness and/or numbness. Symptoms often worsen with certain activities such as sitting for long periods or carrying heavy objects.
Diagnosing Cervical Radiculopathy
If you think you may have cervical radiculopathy, it’s important to see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible. Your car accident chiropractor will do a physical examination to check for signs of nerve damage such as loss of sensation or muscle weakness. He or she may also order imaging tests such as an MRI scan to get a better look at your spine and pinpoint the exact location of any herniated discs that might be causing your symptoms.
Treating Cervical Radiculopathy
Most cases of cervical radiculopathy can be treated with conservative treatments such as rest, physical therapy, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen (Advil), ice packs, and stretching exercises.
These treatments can help reduce inflammation and relieve pressure on the affected nerve root. In more severe cases where these treatments don’t provide relief, surgery may be necessary to remove the herniated disc material pressing on the nerve root. Neck injuries are some of the most common types of injuries sustained during a car accident, with whiplash being at the top of this list due its prevalence among drivers and passengers alike.
While there is no way to guarantee safety on the roads, there are steps you can take — such as wearing a seatbelt and leaving enough space between vehicles — that may reduce your risk of sustaining serious injury during an auto collision.
If you do find yourself involved in an accident, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately even if you don’t think you’ve been hurt; this will ensure that any potential issues are detected quickly before they become more serious down the line.
Call Us for Professional Chiropractic Treatment!
When you need help with neck injury, feel free to call our car accident chiropractor at Fullness of Life Chiropractic!
We specialize in providing gentle, non-invasive treatments for neck pain and other soft tissue injuries that may have been caused by a motor vehicle accident. Our chiropractor is highly skilled and experienced in diagnosing the cause of your pain or injury and developing a personalized treatment plan to help reduce your symptoms.
We understand that experiencing an auto accident can be a traumatic experience, so we strive to provide a safe and comfortable environment that will help you heal. We also offer massage therapy, active release therapy, and nutritional counseling to further aid in your recovery.
With our advanced techniques and attentive care, you can expect results-oriented treatments that will reduce pain and promote healing. So don’t hesitate to call us if you have been injured in a car accident, and let Fullness of Life Chiropractic provide you with the care and support you need.