Numerous potential neck injuries can occur from a range of causes. Given that 20 to 50 million people are non-fatally injured in car accidents each year, this is a significant cause of neck injuries. Explore the various ways you can hurt your neck, both from car accidents and in other ways. Remember that a Newark, NJ chiropractor can help you heal from many of these injuries.
Facet Joint Injuries
Your facet joint sits in your cervical spine and helps your neck and head with mobility and stabilization. If you are in a car accident or experience another type of trauma, the impact can irritate the joints and cause inflammation. It is also possible for the ligaments around the facet joint to be damaged, which would fall under soft tissue damage.
Injuries to your facet joint can lead to pain or lack of mobility in the neck. There are various treatment methods, including visiting a chiropractor in Newark, NJ, medication for pain, and physical therapy.
Herniated and slipped discs can occur for multiple reasons, including car accidents. A herniated disc is when one of your cervical spine’s intervertebral discs slips from its spot. This frequently leads to pinched nerves in your spinal cord, something which is linked to pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness in your neck, as well as your hands, fingers, arms, and shoulders.
Treatment for herniated discs will depend on where in the spine it occurs and the severity of the symptoms. Common treatments include physical therapy, chiropractor visits, epidural steroid injections, NSAID medications, and rest. In some cases, surgery is also necessary.
Soft Tissue Damage
The soft tissues in your neck include your tendons, muscles, and ligaments. There are multiple ways that these can be injured, including car accidents, and the damage can consist of strains, sprains, and tears.
Depending on the type of soft tissue damage, you may notice stiffness, pain, and tenderness in your shoulders and neck. You may also have a more limited range of motion in your neck or muscle spasms.
Damage to the Muscles
The damage to the muscles commonly occurs from people automatically tensing up before an accident. This reduces the ability of the muscles to move with the movements during a car accident. Muscle pain typically leads to pain and weakness.
Damage to Tendons and Ligaments
If your tendon stretches far enough to tear, this can lead to a muscle strain. If that strain happens to the ligaments, this will typically lead to a sprain. Either sprains or strains of tendons or ligaments can lead to varying degrees of pain that should get better over time. Physical therapy is a standard treatment.
Whiplash is among the most common neck injuries that occur from car accidents. Over two million people in America alone experience whiplash each year, giving some perspective on how common it is. This neck injury occurs when your neck moves back and forth forcefully. That motion is common in car accidents, which is why whiplash is commonly associated with those accidents. It is also possible to get whiplash from physical abuse, falls, and sports accidents, among other causes.
In most cases, whiplash will be treated with exercise and medication and improve within several weeks. Sometimes, chronic pain persists, or other complications develop. Chiropractors can frequently help promote healing from whiplash.
Some of the whiplash symptoms include pain that worsens when you move your neck, dizziness, fatigue, numbness or tingling in the arms, pain or tenderness in the arms or upper back, headaches, reduced range of motion, and neck stiffness and pain. Chronic pain tends to be more frequent in people who experience severe neck pain, pain spreading to their arms, and a minimal range of motion.