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Pennsylvania Car Accidents Can Be a Pain in the Neck
Whiplash isn’t the Only Car Accident Neck Injury
Before your accident you rarely thought about your neck, but when your neck is in pain it’s hard to think of anything else.
Your neck is made of seven cervical vertebrae. The vertebrae are responsible for protecting your spinal cord, the bundle of nerves that send messages from the brain to the rest of the body. But, these cervical vertebrae also support your head. They have to move easily, so you can turn your head from side to side and look up and down. This means that the neck isn’t as well protected as other parts of the body. Any strong, sudden movement can cause the neck to extend beyond its normal range of motion leading to very painful injuries. This means that neck injuries are very common after car accidents – even minor crashes can cause serious neck problems.
Common Pennsylvania Car Accident Neck Injuries
- Neck sprain: The vertebrae in your neck are held together bands of fibrous tissue called ligaments. Neck sprain occurs when those ligaments are torn or stretched. Another name for neck sprain is whiplash or “hyperflexion-hyperextension injury”. The injury is very painful and can affect the ability to move the head. Other symptoms include dizziness, ringing in the ears and numbness in the arms or hands.
- Neck strain: The muscles in the neck allow you to move your head, shoulders and arms. A neck strain or “pulled neck muscle” occurs when the muscles are stretched or torn. Neck strains may also be diagnosed as whiplash.
- Cervical radiculopathy: There are several important nerves that extend from the spinal cord down the arm. In an accident, the cervical bones may shift and pinch part of the nerve preventing the nerves from working as they should. This can cause extreme pain, numbness or weakness in the arm or hand.
- Herniated disc: Discs are small cushions of ligaments and collagen that act as shock absorbers between the vertebrae. If an accident puts too much pressure on a disc, the disc can slip or rupture. This causes the vertebrae to press against the spinal nerves causing pain, numbness and weakness.
Delayed Symptoms and Car Accident Neck Injuries
You felt just fine after your car accident, but now your neck is stiff and sore. Neck injuries are often masked by the adrenaline and endorphins that are released during a crash. It can take a few days for symptoms of a neck injury to appear. These symptoms can include:
- Pain in the neck, shoulders, arms or hand
- Numbness, tingling or weakness in the shoulders, arms or hand
- Stiffness or difficulty moving the neck
- Slower reflexes
- Muscle spasms in the neck
See a doctor if you experience any of these symptoms in the weeks after a PA car crash. Most neck injuries are temporary, but they won’t get better without treatment.
Many doctors automatically diagnose neck pain after an accident as whiplash. If your pain continues and doesn’t get better with treatment, get a second opinion. You may have a ruptured disc or a more serious injury.
Do you have questions about your insurance coverage? Ostroff Law works to make sure all your injury-related costs are covered by the insurance. This includes medical care, physical therapy and lost wages. Don’t settle for less than you deserve. Call Ostroff Law at 484-351-0350 to schedule a case evaluation.